Saints in it to win it

Date published: January 18 2013

Northampton Saints skipper Dylan Hartley believes his team have shown good character to still be in the Heineken Cup mix.

Northampton Saints skipper Dylan Hartley believes his team have shown good character to keep their hopes of a quarter-final spot alive.

The Saints managed a narrow 18-12 win over Castres at Franklin's Gardens last weekend and after their win over Pool winners Ulster in Round 4, they have found some form which has kept them in the mix.

They must now travel to face a winless Glasgow outfit, knowing only a bonus-point victory in Scotland will do in order to give them any chance of keeping their hopes of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place alive.

The Saints, who lifted the Heineken Cup back in 2000, will have their sights set on one of the best two runners-up places in the last eight of the tournament but they have to come away with the spoils from Scotstoun Stadium.

“Going into this weekend, we have to get five points to keep our hopes alive,” said Hartley.

“We are doing all right away from home. The spirit is good in the camp.

“All we can do is worry about winning and hopefully the tries will come with that.”

Castres and Ulster put Saints to the sword in Round Two and Three respectively, but Jim Mallinder's men have battled back from those defeats.

“It shows we have a good character (to still be in the competition),” said Hartley.

“Last Friday's win was a good all-round performance. We wanted to score four tries and take five points but they (Castres) are a good team and to close out a game as close as that was quite professional.

“Recently we haven't closed out those games.”

But the Premiership outfit's destiny in Europe is not in their hands even if they get what they want against Glasgow.

The English side, who were beaten finalists in 2011, still face the prospect of failing to reach the last eight of European rugby's premier tournament for the second successive season.