Castres struggle but still edge Glasgow
PARIS (AFP) –
French side Castres kept themselves firmly in the hunt for a place in the European Cup quarter-finals with an unimpressive 10-8 win at home over winless Scottish outfit Glasgow.
Castres only secured their win – their 14th successive home victory – when the visitors were reduced to 13 men with 10 minutes remaining and they scored their only try of the game through Yannick Caballero.
Glasgow – who along with Edinburgh have yet to secure a win for the Scottish sides in their eight games this season – had a chance to win it but Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson’s penalty hit the post.
Castres move second in Pool 4 behind leaders Ulster, who they play next up in January and where the French side will be attempting to win three European Cup matches in a row for the first time since the 2001/02 season when they ended up reaching the quarter-finals.
However, they could well be without influential flanker Ibrahim Diarra, who went unpunished for a deliberate stamp on Glasgow’s Murray Low, but could well be cited after the game as it was clearly caught on camera.
A dour first-half had been enlivened by Glasgow in the final minute as Ryan Wilson broke through the Castres defence and offloaded to flanker John Barclay, who forced his way over despite suffering a hamstring injury in the process, forcing him out of the game.
The Scottish side led 8-3 at the break.
Castres were equally lacklustre in the second-half, but their opponents gave them a helping hand being reduced to 13 men as the game entered its final stages as referee Andrew Small sin-binned two players, lock Tom Ryder the first to go followed a few minutes later by centre Byron McGuigan.
The hosts finally crossed the line as the Castres pack with their extra numbers dominated. Caballero touched down and with Daniel Kirkpatrick’s conversion successful they took a 10-8 lead.
Glasgow fly-half Ruairidh Jackson was presented with a golden opportunity to send the visitors back into the lead with a penalty just four minutes from time but his kick came back off the post and was cleared to safety.