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Mallinder up for Challenge after Saints crush Castres

NORTHAMPTON coach Jim Mallinder was delighted with his side as they claimed a 45-0 win over Castres at Franklin's Gardens to seal their first victory in this season's competition.

The home side blew the Frenchmen away with five tries in the final quarter to avenge last week's 41-22 away defeat in the south of France.

Northampton have no hope of progressing further in the Heineken Cup, but they still have games against Munster and Scarlets next month.

Mallinder said: "That win gives us a chance to make it into the Challenge Cup but we will need a couple of good wins against those tough sides to have a chance of getting there."

On Saturday, Leicester rescued their European campaign by staging a second-half fightback against Clermont-Auvergne to win 23-19 at Welford Road.

Leicester, Clermont and Ulster remain in the Pool Four shake-up.

"To qualify from these pools you need to win five of your six games," said Leicester boss Richard Cockerill.

"So we know exactly what we need to do, which is beat Ulster in Belfast and Aironi at home."

Also on Saturday, London Irish suffered a 25-19 home defeat by French side Racing Metro.