Planet Rugby

ACC wrap: Round Four

19th December 2009 19:41

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Jacques Cronje against Roma

Try-scorer: Jacques Cronje

It was as you were in Round Four of the Amlin Challenge Cup as the big names did for their minnow opponents once again on Saturday.

The matches between Rovigo and Toulon, and Albi and Petrarca Padova both fell foul of the weather and attempts will be made to catch them up on Sunday.

Saracens 18-14 Castres

Saracens kept their hopes of qualification from Pool Three of the Amlin Challenge Cup alive after a Glen Jackson-inspired 18-14 victory over Castres Olympique.

The Guinness Premiership leaders were out-scored two tries to nil by their French counterparts at Vicarage Road.

But six penalties from fly-half Jackson proved enough to take Saracens level on points with Toulon, who face Rovigo tomorrow after their game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Jackson broke the deadlock with his first penalty in the 20th minute after Mouritz Botha had gone close to scoring for the visitors, only to spill the ball under the weight of a tackle as he crashed over the line early on.

Instead it was Castres who grabbed the opening try through wing Paul Bonnefond.

Captain and former England wing Philip Christopher beat three defenders in midfield before lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega put Bonnefond over in the corner. Full-back Thomas Bouquie converted.

The score was against the general run of play as the English club dominated the first half and three more penalties from the reliable boot of Jackson gave Saracens a deserved 12-7 lead at half-time.

However it was the French who were managing to score tries and they grabbed a second on 56 minutes.

Replacement Yohan Audrin was first to react to a loose ball, catching Saracens short of numbers in defence by hacking up field three times before collecting a fortuitous bounce to score.

Bouquie converted again to put Castres two points ahead, however more home pressure forced the visitors into conceding another penalty deep inside their own territory.

Christophers was shown the yellow card, leaving Castres down to 14 men for the dramatic climax and Jackson swept over the kick before sealing victory with his sixth penalty, five minutes from time.

Rugby Roma 3 - 53 Racing Métro 92

Racing Métro moved above Bayonne into second position in what is becoming a closely-fought Pool Three with an emphatic eight-try victory at Stadio Tre Fontane.

Well-taken scores from Sereli Bobo, Jerome Fillol, Carlo Festuccia, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Jacques Cronje, Andrea Lo Cicero, François Steyn and Remi Vaquiin were added to by Fabien Fortassin and Greg Goosen's boot contributions.

The big-spending Parisians are now five points behind leaders Wasps who they will play on home soil in Round Six for what is likely to be a Pool decider.

Olympus Rugby XV Madrid 6 - 42 Montpellier

3,000 spectators at Ciuadad Universitaria witnessed Montpol dominate the struggling Spanish side on Saturday.

A brace apiece from Geoffrey Doumayrou and Giorgi Chkhaidze added to scores from Florian Nicot and Sakiusa Matadigo sealed all five points for the French.

The win puts Montpellier back within two points of Pool leaders Connacht.

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