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Castres

  • Bonnefond, Classen,
    Penalty goals: Teulet, Kockott,
    Drop goals: Tales,
    Conversions: Teulet,
21 - 16

Northampton

  • Pisi,
    Penalty goals: Myler (3),
    Conversions: Myler,

Heineken Cup: French side Castres defeat Premiership outfit Northampton in Toulouse

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH   Last updated: 20th October 2012  

Heineken Cup: French side Castres defeat Premiership outfit Northampton in Toulouse

Antonie Claassen: Scored in Heineken Cup win over Northampton

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Castres got their Heineken Cup campaign up and running with a thoroughly deserved 21-16 victory over Northampton on Friday night.

The French side bounced back from their opening defeat in Ulster by outplaying their Aviva Premiership visitors for the majority of the match at Stade Ernest Wallon, and maybe should have won by a bigger margin in the end.

Paul Bonnefond got them off to a great start when he dived in for an eighth-minute try, after winger Romain Martial had caught Remi Tales' high kick across the field from left to right before off-loading the ball to his arriving centre.

Romain Teulet kicked the conversion and then added a 15th minute penalty just before Northampton finally got on the board with a Stephen Myler penalty kick of his own just one minute later to trim the lead down to 10-3.

That was then 10-6 with Myler's second penalty, but Castres were still the aggressors and Saints were being forced to defend manfully in the face of waves of French attacking, which only yielded a long-range Rory Kockott penalty eight minutes before the interval.

An uphill task got an even bigger incline when Northampton had South African prop Brian Mujati yellow carded five minutes after half time with the visitors under more pressure, and that strain started to tell as their scrum began wobbling just five yards from their own line.

Just when it looked like a penalty try could be awarded, Antonie Claasen peeled off the back of a rotating scrum and dived over the line to make it 18-6, which is how it stayed as Kockott missed the conversion attempt.

Saints survived with 14 men without conceding again, and they grabbed a lifeline when George Pisi kicked the ball forward off the floor after Kockott fumbled before grounding the ball under the posts - and Myler's conversion made it 18-13.

That gap was increased again to eight points when Tales slotted a drop-goal just two minutes later, but Myler's penalty on 72 minutes gave Northampton some hope of getting something out of the game.

Saints chanced their arm late on but it was not to be and they settled for a losing bonus point which had looked out of reach for most of the game after being second best for the majority of their encounter.

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Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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