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CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13 As it happened

Christian Day fronts up against a physical Castres defence © Getty Images

Match Report CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13 As it happened

The action as it unfolded at Stade Pierre Antoine as the Saints' Heineken Cup campaign opened in a frustrating defeat, albeit one they took a losing bonus from against Castres.

KO
Saints led out by Dylan Hartley and giving the smart new quartered cup shirt a first run out. Playing from left to right as we look, Myler gets things underway...
CASTRES 0 SAINTS 0

2mins
Bit of a sloppy start from both teams, the ball turned over four times already but the first scrum of the afternoon will be the Saints' after a Castres knock on. Free kick CO as the Saints go early though
CASTRES 0 SAINTS 0

4mins
Castres choose to scrum their free-kick but having been forced back by the Saints defence, then have to go off their feet to protect the ball at the cost of a penalty. Saints get go forward ball but then cross in midfield and concede their first penalty of the afternoon
CASTRES 0 SAINTS 0

7mins
Lawes nicks back the CO line out and a muscular maul rumbles over halfway. Another Saints penalty and one Myler sends into touch 10m from the home line.
CASTRES 0 SAINTS 0

9mins
Saints running at the Castres back line but Martial reads Burrell's attempted pass well, plucking it from the air and even North won't catch the winger. Kockott converts for a seven-point score.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

14mins
Saints line out working well and poaching another Castres throw. A Bit of kicking tennis ends with Myler finding the halfway line.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

15mins
Castres hugely physical so far - as expected - but the Saints defence are marshalling them well in open play and with an attempted kick charged down, a CO forward is offside when he tries to scoop up. Mercey is on for Ma'afu - looks like a blood injury.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

18mins
Scrappy line out ball ends in a knock on but the Saints then win a penalty against the head as the two front rows flop twice. Lineout doesn't go to plan but Hartley will get another chance on the Castres 22.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

19mins
Another troubling moment for the Saints as Castres race after a chip forward from turnover ball. Good bounce of the ball for the home chasers too, but there's a knock on as Foden makes an important tackle.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

22mins
A second scrum penalty for on Mercey's side of the front row since his arrival. Ma'afu is ready to come back on though, so the tight-head's work is done for now.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

25mins
Myler plays the territory game again with a smart, bobbling kick through. This game is being played almost solely in the Castres half but Saints so far have nothing to show for their efforts.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

27mins
Kicking for field possession paying dividends as a third Castres line out goes astray. Saints probing for a gap but a few phases later it's a home penalty and a chance for Castres to clear comprehensively.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 0

30mins
Foden forces Evans into touch and with Hartley recovering possession after Fotuali'i's box kick, Claassen then goes off his feet trying to win the ball back. Myler thumps over the 40m penalty and Saints are on the board.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 3

32mins
Elusive running from Palis gets Castres motoring and after making a good cover tackle, Foden is then yellow carded for killing the move. Castres go quickly but 5m from the Saints line they go off their feet to maintain possession and Saints have a chance to breathe.
CASTRES 7 SAINTS 3

36mins
Saints keeping it tight and eating a couple of minutes off the clock but chasers are in front of Myler as he sends one skywards and Kockott lines the penalty up from smack bang on halfway. Huge whack from the scrum-half and it's over with ease.
CASTRES 10 SAINTS 3

HT
Gift from Kockott straight from the restart, though, the South African punting out on the full and conceding some 40m. Klaxon sounds and while the Saints forwards play on in Castres' 22, the ball gets stuck in a maul and referee Clancy blows for half-time.
CASTRES 10 SAINTS 3

HT
Not a great deal in this game at all, Saints shading the territory but Castres with a handy lead thanks to Martial's interception after 10. Saints having some joy on Castres line outs, something that will encourage the visitors after a first half that has flown by.
CASTRES 10 SAINTS 3

40
Teams re-emerge simultaneously and Tales' restart is gathered by Dickinson before Burrell boots clear.
CASTRES 10 SAINTS 3

44mins
Dangerous looking attack from Castres and while Myler gathers a chip through he can't find touch. Saints briefly have the ball but a knock on allows Castres a scrum, the hosts also earning a penalty as Foden returns to the field. Kockott finds the mark again.
CASTRES 13 SAINTS 3

45mins
Castres don't find touch with their clearing kick and after North and Burrell make valuable ground, Fotuali'i slides a kick through to the 5m line to apply some pressure. Lineout is a foul throw as Mach steps onto the pitch and Saints will have the throw now.
CASTRES 13 SAINTS 3

47mins
Penalty from the line out too as Castres yank it down and Myler goes right into the corner. Maul is initially pushed back but the ball remains in the forwards' mitts and another penalty is coming.
CASTRES 13 SAINTS 3

49mins
Castres defending the maul by any means necessary and when the ball gets stuck in another long one, they get the nod for a scrum. Frustrating for the Saints having built a good amount of pressure so close to the try line.
CASTRES 13 SAINTS 3

50mins
Castres look to run the ball clear and despite running into touch, they steal the line out back. Mach fumbles the pop back though and Hartley is aware enough to more than make up for his errant throw, scooping up and reaching over with a superb finish. Myler lands the conversion.
CASTRES 13 SAINTS 10

55mins
That score the result of some real pressure from the Saints and now both sides have opportune tries on the board. Castres attacking again and harsh penalty goes against Day for not rolling away - the ball seemingly disturbed by a Castres foot and not the Saints second row. Whatever the case, Kockott adds three to the Castres lead.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 10

57mins
A Saints penalty as Clark wraps up the ball and Saints are also ready to make a few changes. Dickson, Mercey and Manoa will replaces Fotuali'i, Ma'afu and Dickinson as Myler's long ranger drifts left of the uprights.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 10

62mins
Saints concede a free kick on Castres' put in and Kockott goes quickly, arcing behind the scrum and punting a really good kick to touch. Lineout is successfully taken in though and Dickson's clearing kick is every bit as good as his opposite number's.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 10

64mins
Free kick against Saints from a useful looking maul, but Castres under the cosh at the set-piece yet again. Saints to make two more changes, Dowson and Elliott on for Day and Ken. Castres to put into this scrum after the last one wheeled.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 10

67mins
Another Saints substitution, Corbisiero replaced by Waller having helped the Saints to a penalty in his final scrum of the game. Myler sends Saints into Castres' 22 for another go at the home line.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 10

69mins
Big carrying from the Saints, Lawes in particular and Castres offend at the breakdown. Myler kicks the points and puts his side back within three, 10mins left to play at Stade Pierre Antoine.
CASTRES 16 SAINTS 13

70mins
North has made way for Wilson on the Saints side. As the visitors look to get a maul going from the restart, referee Clancy spots an obstruction and Kockott can cancel out Myler's penalty almost instantly. He does.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

74mins
Castres looking to cut as many second off the clock as possible as they get a penalty on their own 10m line. Saints went in at the side with Burrell isolated. Penalty for blocking though as Castres attack from the line out.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

76mins
Not long left now but still just the one score in it. Saints have a line out inside the Castres half and Burrell slams his way over the gainline. Patiently building move breaks down but a clearing kick comes off DOwson's head and Wilson's excellent chipped kick forces Castres to carry into touch 5m out.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

79mins
Again Castres have the answer to the Saints maul and with a minute left, they will scrum 7m from their own line.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

FT
The hosts look after the ball well enough from the scrum and it is left to Kockott to end the game. A bitterly frustrating afternoon for the Saints.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

FT
A losing bonus at the home of the French champions is not to be sniffed at, but the Saints will feel that this is one that could have yielded much more. Plenty of possession, plenty of territory but with both sides struggling to create clear cut opportunities - tries for Martial and Hartley coming from turnover ball - Kockott's boot ensured Castres made the most of their opportunities at points.
CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

FOR FULL OPTA MATCH STATS FROM CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13, CLICK HERE

TIMELINE
10mins CASTRES Try Martial Con Kockott 7-0
30mins SAINTS Pen Myler 7-3
32mins SAINTS Yellow Foden
38mins CASTRES Pen Kockott 10-3
HALF-TIME CASTRES 10 SAINTS 3
44mins CASTRES Pen Kockott 13-3
51mins SAINTS Try Hartley Con Myler 13-10
55mins CASTRES Pen Kockott 16-10
59mins SAINTS Miss pen Myler
70mins SAINTS Pen Myler
72mins CASTRES Pen Kockott 19-10
FULL-TIME CASTRES 19 SAINTS 13

CASTRES - Palis; Martial, Cabannes, Lamerat, Evans; Tales, Kockott; Lazar, Mach, Peikrishvili, Gray, C Ortega, Bornman, Faasalele, Claassen

Reps - Rallier, Wihongi, Coetzee, Samson, Wannenburg, Tomas, Grosso, Kirkpatrick

SAINTS - Foden; Ken, George, Burrell, North; Myler, Fotuali'i; Corbisiero, Hartley, Ma'afu, Lawes, Day, Wood, Clark, Dickinson

Reps - Haywood, Waller, Mercey, Manoa, Dowson, Dickson, Wilson, Elliott

Heineken Man of the Match: Rodrigo Capo Ortega

Referee: George Clancy

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