Imago

Saracens edge past Castres

Glenn Jackson-inspired Saracens edge past Castres
By PA Sport

19/12/2009 at 22:25Updated

Saracens kept their hopes of qualification from Pool 3 of the Amlin Challenge Cup alive after a Glenn Jackson-inspired 18-14 victory over Castres.

The Guinness Premiership leaders were out-scored two tries to nil by their French counterparts at Vicarage Road.

But six penalties from fly-half Jackson proved enough to take Saracens level on points with Toulon, who face Rovigo tomorrow after their game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Jackson broke the deadlock with his first penalty in the 20th minute after Mouritz Botha had gone close to scoring for the visitors, only to spill the ball under the weight of a tackle as he crashed over the line early on.

Instead it was Castres who grabbed the opening try through wing Paul Bonnefond.

Captain and former England wing Philip Christopher beat three defenders in midfield before lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega put Bonnefond over in the corner. Full-back Thomas Bouquie converted.

The score was against the general run of play as the English club dominated the first half and three more penalties from the reliable boot of Jackson gave Saracens a deserved 12-7 lead at half-time.

However it was the French who were managing to score tries and they grabbed a second on 56 minutes.

Replacement Yohan Audrin was first to react to a loose ball, catching Saracens short of numbers in defence by hacking up field three times before collecting a fortuitous bounce to score.

Bouquie converted again to put Castres two points ahead, however more home pressure forced the visitors into conceding another penalty deep inside their own territory.

Christophers was shown the yellow card, leaving Castres down to 14 men for the dramatic climax and Jackson swept over the kick before sealing victory with his sixth penalty, five minutes from time.

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