Saints set for crunch Castres test

Thu, 10 Jan 2013 18:05
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Northampton know they risk going out of the European Cup when they face French club Castres at Franklin's Gardens on Friday.

Northampton know they risk going out of the European Cup when they face French club Castres at Franklin's Gardens on Friday.

The Saints kept their hopes of qualifying out of Pool Four alive with a surprise win over group favourites Ulster in Belfast last time out, just over a week after a bonus point loss to the Irish side on home soil.

Northampton are currently two points behind Castres and five adrift of Ulster and Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "We still have a massive point to prove in Europe and the players know what is expected of them on Friday night.

"We need a win to keep our destiny in our own hands, especially as Castres are two points ahead of us in the pool.

"We also know that it will not be easy against one of the top teams in France. Castres have been in superb form over the past few months and have been playing a style of rugby which makes the most of their big forwards and speed out wide.

"It is a massive challenge for us and all of the focus has been on what we need to do on Friday. We are just about playing knockout rugby, so getting the win is all that matters.

"But we've been playing well recently, scoring good tries and defending well, so there is plenty for us to build on and we are in a positive frame of mind to get our home form back on track."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 20 January 2017
Castres v Leinster 19h45 Stade Pierre Antoine
Montpellier v Northampton Saints 19h45 Altrad Stadium
Sat, 21 January 2017
Ulster v Bordeaux 13h00 Kingspan Stadium
Clermont Auvergne v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Saracens v Toulon 15h15 Allianz Park
Sale Sharks v Scarlets 15h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Glasgow Warriors 17h30 Welford Road
Munster v Racing Metro 17h30 Thomond Park
Sun, 22 January 2017
Zebre v Wasps 15h15 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Toulouse v Connacht 15h15 Stade Ernest Wallon
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 5 4 0 1 20
Glasgow Warriors 5 3 0 2 14
Leicester Tigers 5 2 0 3 8
Racing Metro 5 1 0 4 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Connacht 5 4 0 1 18
Wasps 5 3 1 1 17
Toulouse 5 2 2 1 14
Zebre 5 0 0 5 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 5 4 1 0 20
Toulon 5 3 0 2 15
Scarlets 5 2 1 2 10
Sale Sharks 5 0 0 0 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 5 4 0 1 21
Montpellier 5 2 0 3 11
Castres 5 2 0 3 10
Northampton Saints 5 2 0 3 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 5 4 0 1 21
Exeter Chiefs 5 2 0 3 11
Bordeaux 5 2 0 3 10
Ulster 5 2 0 3 9