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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Pool 4
- 19th Oct 2012
- KO 20:00
- Ground: Stade Pierre Antoine
- Att: 9,000
Northampton skipper Dylan Hartley still expecting Heineken Cup challenge despite Castres defeat
Northampton captain Dylan Hartley insisted his side were "not out of it" after losing 21-16 against a rampant Castres side in the Heineken Cup.
The Saints came into the game on the back of a 24-15 win against Glasgow Warriors at Franklin's Gardens, but having only had five days to prepare after the Glasgow game, Northampton were well beaten this evening.
"We're not out of it," he said. "We've got Ulster next at our place, and we'll know where we are in terms of qualification a lot better after that one. There is still a long way to go in the competition.
"We knew that if we were to be considered contenders for the competition, we need to win games at home against the likes of Ulster and that's where our focus now turns to."
Although the Saints did not do enough for the win, a late rally saw them gain a bonus point - something which the visitors had had talked about during the interval.
"We said at half-time in the Glasgow game that we would target the bonus point, and it was the same again tonight," Hartley said. "We were pleased to come away with a bonus point. Our defence was pretty good but we just didn't do the basics particularly well tonight."
Northampton coach Jim Mallinder was proud of his team's efforts but echoed Hartley's comments in that simple errors cost his side.
"We came up against a good side tonight on their own patch and knew it would be tough, just like it was last season," he said. "We fought well, but basic mistakes ultimately cost us the game.
"We must now look forward to Ulster, which will again be another tough game, but we've been in good form this season, and we know we can get a result against them at our place.
"We've got important games in the league before that, and our immediate attention will be on those matches."
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Friday 17th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Castres|
|Saturday 18th October|
|13:00||Sale vs Munster|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|15:15||Glasgow vs Bath|
|17:15||Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton|
|Sunday 19th October|
|17:15||Leinster vs Wasps|
|15:15||Toulon vs Scarlets|
|13:00||Toulouse vs Montpellier|
|13:00||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|19:45||Scarlets vs Leicester|
|15:15||Bath vs Toulouse|
|17:15||Montpellier vs Glasgow|
|17:15||Northampton vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 26th October|
|13:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Sale|
|15:00||Castres vs Leinster|
|17:15||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|17:15||Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92|
|Saturday 6th December|
|TBC||Munster vs Clermont Auvergne|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
|TBC||Castres vs Wasps|
|TBC||Harlequins vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com