Saints skewer sorry castres
Published 19/12/2011 | 05:00
Northampton collected their first Heineken Cup win of the season with a bonus-point success over a weakened Castres at Franklin's Gardens.
The notable action came in the final quarter of the match as the Saints scored five tries to emphasise their superiority over a very poor French side. Stephen Myler kicked the remaining 20 points for Northampton.
With both teams seemingly out of the competition already , the game lacked real bite as two under-strength sides struggled to put in a performance. There was a muted atmosphere as the crowd accepted there was little resting on the game, with the Saints frustrated by Castres' limited game plan.
The French side slowed the game down at every opportunity and were content to allow their out-half Pierre Bernard to kick away what limited possession they gained.
Northampton should have capitalised on their huge share of possession early on, but it was not until late in the game that they were able to do so.
Myler took his first penalty chance to give Northampton the lead after 12 minutes. The home side then had the better of possession and territory but failed to take advantage and half-time came with them still only 3-0 ahead.
Myler kicked three more penalties before Lee Dickson and Soane Tonga'uiha were introduced by Northampton on the hour.
The switch soon paid dividends when Ben Foden and Vasily Artemyev both outflanked the visitors' defence for tries which Myler converted.
Castres were demoralised and battered from their tackling stint and conceded further tries to Mike Haywood and Greig Tonks and a final one from Foden who ran 50 metres to score, Myler converting two of them.