Rugby

Castres upset Saints

2011-12-10 18:26
Romain Teulet (File)

Paris - Former European Cup champions Northampton's chances of reaching the knockout stages of this season's competition were left hanging by a thread on Saturday as they fell to a surprise 41-22 defeat by French side Castres.

The Saints - beaten finalists in last season's competition and who last went out at this stage eight years ago - didn't do themselves any favours in being reduced to 14 men twice in the match as Castres wing Romain Martial scored two tries - his first for the club since he joined from Narbonne two years ago.

Romain Teulet scored 21 of their other points with his boot to help his club to their first victory in any rugby since October 22.

There was something of a surprise in another of the early matches as Italian side Treviso beat ailing two-time European Cup finalists Biarritz 30-26, set up mainly on an explosive first-half which saw them score three tries and lead 24-12 at the break.

Castres took an early lead against their English opponents with a try by Steve Malonga but Saints were back on level terms soon afterwards as flanker Mark Sorenson burrowed over and Steve Myler added the two points.

The hosts spoilt a great chance to score another try a minute later as they made inroads into the Northampton 22 but an infringement cost them a penalty which allowed the English side to clear - but when they too conceded a penalty and Teulet slotted it over to give Castres a 10-7 lead after 20 minutes.

Teulet - a prolific points scorer over the past few seasons and nicknamed 'RoboCop' for his singular style of preparing for penalty kicks - added another penalty to extend the lead to 13-7.

However, in an open and entertaining if error-strewn encounter it was the visitors who grabbed the second try as winger Jamie Elliott went over in the 32nd minute after being brilliantly set up by Samoan George Pisi.

Myler was unable to convert from the touchline to leave them a point adrift of Castres, who went four points ahead as Teulet landed another penalty.

Myler cost his side even more dearly just before half-time when he was rather harshly yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Almost immediately Castres added another try as wing Martial ran on to former All Black Chris Masoe's brilliant grubber kick to touch down for his first try for the club - Teulet converted to make it 23-12 at half-time.

However, the Saints rebounded after the break before Myler rejoined the fray as Elliott scored his second try of the game intercepting Ibrahim Diarra's pass deep inside the English side's 22 and ran it back the length of the pitch - Tom May failed to convert.

However, just as Myler did return Teulet added another penalty and give the hosts a nine point cushion with half-an-hour remaining.

The Saints were right back in it though as after good work by Pisi and Ben Foden American No 8 Samu Nanoa went over to at least guarantee a bonus point for tries scored - Myler failed to convert to leave them trailing 26-22.

Saints hopes, however, suffered a hammer blow in the 63rd minute as Tom Wood was sin-binned - a week after being red carded - and Teulet added the three points to leave the English outfit requiring a converted try to draw level.

That task became even more demanding as Martial went over for his second of the afternoon, the remarkable Teulet added the conversion from the touchline - Martial for good measure set up Diarra for another try to round off a memorable afternoon.

European Cup results on Saturday:

Pool 1

Castres 41 Northampton 22
Scarlets 14 Munster 17

Pool 2

Racing Metro 14 London Irish 34

Pool 5

Treviso 30 Biarritz 26

Pool 6

Connacht 10 Gloucester 14

Playing later (kick-off GMT)

Pool 5

Saracens v Ospreys (18:00)

Played on Friday:

Pool 2

Cardiff Blues 25 Edinburgh 8

Pool 4

Ulster 31 Aironi 10

Pool 6

Harlequins 10 Toulouse 21

Playing on Sunday (kick-offs in GMT)

Pool 3

Bath v Leinster (12:45)

Glasgow v Montpellier (12:45)

Pool 4

Clermont v Leicester (15:00)

Read more on:    heineken cup
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

We're down to four teams left in contention for the 2014 Super Rugby title. Who will be crowned champions?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.