Northampton vs Castres
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 14 January 2017
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
While the commotion for the group supremacy may be happening to the two teams above them i this group, Northampton and Castres know with two rounds to go, they are both within striking distance of second spot and qualification to the next round.
Northampton will be desperate to try and salvage some pride after a really poor campaign in Europe. They have been getting better domestically, and this game against Castres comes just at the right time for them to show some of that form on the European stage. They were humbled by Leinster away from home, as well as lost to them at home. In fact, they have only won one match in this entire competition and that was against Montpellier in the opening round at home.
For Castres, they are the team in third, and only three points away from second, so besides obviously looking for what will be a tough win away from home, they are also hoping for Montpellier to fail and for second spot to be theirs with a round to go. It is a lot to ask and hope for, but there is every chance of anything happening in this group as things stand quite open and even in terms of the log with two rounds to play. Castres are away from home however, and will need to pull something special off to win here.
Northampton vs Castres: Previous encounter
When these two met in France, it was another bad day at the office for Northampton as they lost 41-7, James Wilson scoring the consolation try for the English side. Castres tucked in as David Smith scored two, and Antoine Tichit grabbed one, while two reserves also scored late on in the second half.
Northampton vs Castres: Prediction
Northampton are a side that are looking a lot better and more revitalised after a poor start, that is not to say they are without their problems. However, they will feel more confident welcoming a French side to their home ground and should sneak this in a tight game to really open up the pool with one game to go.
Northampton vs Castres: Tips
George North and Courtney Lawes looked in awesome form against Bristol in the League, the welsh winger is a good bet to get a try.