Mallinder : Saints beating Castres is all that matters

Northampton Saints Director of rugby Jim Mallinder admits that it is do or die for them in Friday’s Heineken Cup Round 5 pool clash with Castres.


The French outfit visit Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night sitting two points ahead of the Saints in the Pool 4 standings, meaning that a win is essential for the home team to continue their European ambitions for at least another week.


But the Saints are in contention thanks to an against-the-odds win over pool leaders Ulster in December, and Mallinder says that the atmosphere in the camp this week has been similar to the days before the trip to Ravenhill.


“We still have a massive point to prove in Europe, and the players know what is expected of them on Friday night,” he said.


“We need a win to keep our destiny in our own hands, especially as Castres are two points ahead of us in the pool.


“We also know that it will not be easy against one of the top teams in France. Castres have been in superb form over the past few months and have been playing a style of rugby which makes the most of their big forwards and speed out wide.


“It is a massive challenge for us, and all of the focus has been on what we need to do on Friday.


“We are just about playing knockout rugby, so getting the win is all that matters.


“But we’ve been playing well recently, scoring good tries and defending well, so there is plenty for us to build on and we are in a positive frame of mind to get our home form back on track.”

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