Collective effort saw Castres home

Sat, 07 Dec 2013 12:33
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Castres lock Richie Gray says it took a concerted team effort for the French champions to see off Ospreys at Stade Pierre Antoine.

Castres and Scotland lock Richie Gray says it took a concerted team effort for the French champions to see off Ospreys at Stade Pierre Antoine.

The hosts endured a frustrating evening on Friday as they failed to make the most of the Welsh side’s indiscipline.

Ospreys lost wing Aisea Natoga to the sin bin inside the opening 10 minutes but the teams headed into half-time deadlocked at 6-all.

The visitors conceded their second yellow card on the hour mark when replacement Sam Lewis saw yellow, but again Castres were unable to drive home their numerical advantage.  

Four penalties from South African-born scrumhalf Rory Kockott and another from Geoffrey Palis to three penalties from Ospreys flyhalf Dan Biggar gave Castres just a six-point lead and left the door open for Ospreys.

The hosts appeared to implode at the death as both Palis and Seremaia Bai were yellow carded, but 13-man Castres managed to hold out Ospreys through some stoic defence to pick up the win.

"The Ospreys made life difficult for us at the breakdown and defended very well," admitted Gray.

"But we expected that, they are a very competitive side.

"We were down to 13 men at the end but we managed to hold out and I think that shows how hard this team works for each other.

"We did so well to hold out in that period. It was a real team effort.

"The win puts us in a good position in the group. Now we have a very difficult trip to the Ospreys next week but it is one we feel we can do well in."

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 1 1 0 0 5
Ulster 1 1 0 0 4
Harlequins 1 0 0 1 1
Wasps 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 1 1 0 0 5
Clermont Auvergne 1 1 0 0 4
Ospreys 1 0 0 1 1
Northampton Saints 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 1 1 0 0 5
Exeter Chiefs 1 1 0 0 4
Montpellier 1 0 0 1 1
Glasgow Warriors 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 1 1 0 0 4
Castres 1 0 1 0 2
Munster 1 0 1 0 2
Leicester Tigers 1 0 0 1 1
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 1 1 0 0 4
Toulon 1 1 0 0 4
Scarlets 1 0 0 1 1
Treviso 1 0 0 1 0