Planet Rugby

Saints scrape past Castres

08th October 2010 19:07

Share:

Reihana Saints

Reihana: Made up for kicking blunders with a try for Saints

Northampton produced an error-strewn display before coming through their Heineken Cup opener against Castres 18-14 at Franklin's Gardens.

The 2000 champions were lacklustre in attack and lethargic in defence, but ensured their Pool One clash ended in victory thanks to tries either side of half-time from Bruce Reihana and Ben Foden.

Despite his try, New Zealander Reihana endured a night to forget, missing three penalty attempts and one conversion in the opening 40 minutes to keep Castres in with a shout.

The French visitors got on the board when forward Joe Tekori bundled over, however they too were guilty of missing numerous penalty kicks, but at least return home with one losing bonus point to their name.

Saints, as they so often do at Franklin's Gardens, came out all guns blazing in an attempt to catch their French visitors cold.

Castres repelled the early barrage well though, despite Courtney Lawes and Shane Geraghty both breaking the gain-line inside the opening five minutes.

The first penalty attempt at goal came 11 minutes in, however Reihana pulled his kick well wide and Castres were handed a reprieve.

Reihana and Pierre Bernard traded further missed chances midway through the half, however Castres were improving as the match developed and it came as no surprise when they snatched the lead.

A powerful scrum from the French outfit put Saints on the back foot and lock Tekori picked up the pieces before outmuscling Lee Dickson to touch down.

Bernard missed the ensuing conversion as the kicking woes for both teams continued.

Reihana then missed penalty kick number three from straight under the posts, the Saints fans not afraid to let their feelings heard despite the New Zealander's legendary status at the club.

But on 32 minutes the Saints spectators were all smiles, Reihana making amends for his inept kicking display with a simple try in the corner. The veteran winger missed the resulting conversion - bringing an end to his place-kicking duties for the evening.

Castres edged back ahead two minutes later through CJ McIntyre's drop-goal, however their cause was not helped when hooker Mathieu Bonello was sent to the sin-bin for cynically killing the ball.

Northampton were handed a chance to level the scores on the stroke of half-time, however Geraghty's attempt bounced three times before reaching the posts.

But within 35 seconds of the restart memories of that miss were dispelled, Foden collecting a neat inside pass from Phil Dowson to burst clear and touch down under the posts. Geraghty's conversion through the middle brought about the loudest cheer of the night.

Bernard squandered another kickable opportunity minutes later, and French frustrations increased when the referee wrongly disallowed a Castres try when adjudging a knock-on against a French player when in fact Foden got the touch.

Bernard scored his first penalty from four attempts to reduce the deficit to 12-11, however Geraghty responded in kind to extend the lead back to four.

Another Bernard attempt fell short, however with nine minutes remaining the Northampton nerves were jangling again when the Castres full-back found his range.

At 15-14 the match was perfectly poised heading into the closing stages, but Northampton looked the more assured at the death and Stephen Myler sealed the win with a late penalty.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Reihana, Foden
Con: Geraghty
Pens: Geraghty, Myler

For Castres:
Try: Tekori
Drop: McIntyre
Pens: Bernard 2

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Regardt Dreyer, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Calum Clark, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Ryan Powell, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Joe Ansbro.

Castres: 15 Pierre Bernard, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Pierre-Manuel Garcia, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 Vincent Inigo, 10 Cameron McIntyre, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Scott Murray, 3 Daniel Saayman, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Michaël Coetzee, 18 Anton Peikrishvili, 19 Matthias Rolland, 20 Jannie Bornman, 21 Thomas Sanchou, 22 Seremaia Bai, 23 Marc Andreu.

Referee: John Lacey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39