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Newcastle bid for Castres hat-trick

Thursday 17th December 2020

12:19 pm (GMT)

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Newcastle Falcons captain Mark Wilson

Newcastle Falcons will attempt to make it three wins from three encounters with Castres Olympique when they meet in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at Stade Pierre Fabre on Friday night (17:30 UK and Irish time) live on beIN SPORTS and BT Sport.

The English side have won both their previous clashes – in the 1997/98 quarter-finals and at the same stage in 2007/08.

Match facts:

  • Castres are unbeaten in their last 13 home games in European competition, winning all four Challenge Cup games in that run and seven of nine games in the Heineken Champions Cup.
  • Newcastle won their most recent Challenge Cup game in France (21-20 v Bordeaux in October 2017), ending a winless run of nine such games comprising eight defeats.
  • Castres were one of just three sides not to lose a scrum (3/3) or lineout (11/11) in the opening round of this season’s Challenge Cup.
  • Castres’ Stéphane Onambele Mbarga made four offloads in Round 1 of the Challenge Cup, the most of any player over the opening weekend.

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Newcastle battle to important win over Castres

Friday 18th December 2020

7:34 pm (GMT)

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Newcastle battle to important win over Castres

Brett Connon kicked three penalties as Newcastle beat Castres in Round 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup

Newcastle Falcons came from behind to beat Castres 26-17 in what could prove to be a crucial win in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Newcastle claimed the first points of the game through a Brett Connon penalty, but the French side hit back with two tries through Antoine Bouzerand – the second after an outrageous offload from 19-year-old Clement Clavieres who also set up the first score.

Late in the first half Connon nailed two further penalties, and with neither of the Castres tries converted, Newcastle found themselves within a point of the hosts at the interval.

A quarter of an hour into the second half the Falcons eventually breached the Castres rearguard with Sam Stuart crossing, followed by a Tom Arscott try ten minutes later.

Newcastle put themselves within touching distance of a bonus point after Josh Basham dotted down with five minutes to go, but a handling error saw Castres handed a third try through Vilimoni Botitu in what proved to be the final score of the game.

The two sides meet again on January 16, with Castres making the trip to Kingston Park in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

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