Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comRugby ExplainedConference & EventsContact UsHolland & Barrett

Champions Cup report: Tigers beaten in France

Leicester Tigers were beaten 39-0 at Castres Olympique in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.

In the fifth round of fixtures in Pool 4 and on the club’s first-ever visit to the Stade Pierre Fabre in the south of France, Tigers trailed from the first minute when fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta hacked loose ball up the left touchline to score.

Two tries from centre Thomas Combezou stretched the Castres lead to 27-0 by half-time, though a much-changed Tigers team had been competitive throughout and also had their opportunities close to the trryline, most obviously when Sam Harrison was kept out in a moment which cost Armand Batlle a yellow card but ultimately saw the away team unrewarded for their efforts.

A fourth try, from wing Batlle ensured the points would go to the hosts, though Tigers continued to plug away and had several attacking opportunities without reward before the Castres No11 claimed the final try of the evening in the 78th minute.

Tigers were without England players Ben Youngs, Dan Cole, Jonny May and George Ford ahead of the Six Nations, while Logovi’i Mulipola, Matt Toomua and Manu Tuilagi, who have all returned to action in recent weeks after lengthy injury absences, were also left out.

Dominic Ryan, Tom Brady and Pat Cilliers returned after injury, with Greg Bateman named as captain for the first time. Michele Rizzo, on his return from a loan spell at Edinburgh, returned to take a place among the replacements.

Castres got the game under way on a damp evening and had an immediate score, fly-half Urdapilleta claiming a try with just 46 seconds gone on the clock.

His grub-kick near halfway was fielded by Tigers but squirmed free near the touchline and Urdapilleta dribbled it onwards before picking up to score. He added the conversion too for a 7-0 advantage.

Tigers recovered well, playing through a series of phases in attack and carrying up to the 22 where Charlie Thacker and Harry Wells made half-breaks before the home side forced a turnover and cleared upfield.

There was a break for skipper Bateman to receive treatment to a facial cut after the referee whistled for a knock-on when Thacker charged down a chip from Urdapilleta, but the prop was back on his feet as the visiting pack were awarded a penalty at the scrum.

Tigers again enjoyed some good possession but lost ball on the front foot and, when the hosts built through the forwards, they were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts and Urdapilleta kicked to make it 10-0 with quarter of an hour played.

There was more of the same as the game five minutes later with Tigers again penalised in defence and the Castres No10 kicking the points.

A second Castres try came from a counter-attack, initiated by full-back Geoffrey Palis after Tigers had kicked upfield. When his kick evaded the cover, wing Batlle offloaded for Combezou to run in. The conversion made it 20-0 with 25 minutes played.

Bateman’s interception on halfway had the visiting supporters on their feet and Castres back-pedalling, but when Joe Ford kicked to the left corner, Charlie Thacker was unluckily penalised as he challenged Marc-Antoine Rallier on the tryline.

The visitors stayed in Castres territory, though, and a huge push from the forwards was brought down just short of the line. With the referee playing a penalty advantage, play switched to the right and George Worth was closed out a few metres short before the referee raised his arm again. This time Tigers were unable to set up a platform and Castres cleared.

There was a major talking point moments later when Sam Harrison ripped ball away from a maul and raced towards the tryline, only to be tackled just short. As Harrison hit the ground, the referee penalised Castres and Batlle was sin-binned. After consultation with the TMO, referee Brace took no further action and play restarted with Tigers kicking a penalty into the right corner.

Again Tigers set up a drive for the line, but the home defence swarmed all over Harrison to disrupt ball and eventually gained their own penalty just outside their 22.

Castres showed their clinical finishing again in the final minute of the half as they made good use of ball from Mathieu Babillot’s carry and, when they recycled on the left, No8 Alex Tulou offloaded for Combezou to score next to the right-hand post. Urdapilleta’s extras stretched the lead to 27 points.

The half ended with Tigers again pushing for the tryline from a penalty into the right-hand corner, only for the hosts to win turnover ball when Will Evans fund himself isolated in possession five metres from the line. Asd they recycled Urdapilleta chipped the ball into the crowd behind the posts to bring the half to a close.

Tigers started brightly in the second half, too, but lost a promising platform with a knock-on at the breakdown and then with a penalty in attack as Harry Thacker cleared at the side of a ruck after more good work from younger brother Charlie

Castres grabbed their bonus-point try in their opening attack of the half, keeping ball alive on the left with the Tigers defence working hard on their own line, and Batlle eventually darting over to score. Updarpilleta could not maintain his perfect kicking record as his conversion attempt from the touchline came back off the post, though his side led 32-0.

Bateman and Harry Thacker continued to carry prominently as Tigers looked for forward momentum and a breakthrough but another potentially threatening position was lost when a penalty into the right-hand corner ended with the referee blowing in Castres favour at the lineout.

Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Betts, Brendon O’Connor and Nick Malouf joined the action on 55 minutes and the Australian hooker was immediately in the action with a crunching hit on Urdapilleta. The French crowd did like the look of it, though Tigers already had a penalty award and kicked into the right-hand corner yet again.

The drive infield brought another penalty and almost a score. Ford tapped for the forwards and when play spread to the right Tom Brady dived over in the corner, only for play to come back for a forward pass.

Harry Simmons got on for his European debut on the hour, as Mafi joined the Castres pack.

The referee’s assistant brought his attention to potential foul play as Tigers prepared for a scrum on the right, with Castres lock Victor Moreaux the centre of attention. but no further action was taken.

Wells and Betts carried as Tigers continued to push for a breakthrough and the penalty count started to rack up against the home side’s defence but they escaped again when a crooked lineout throw gave the hosts a scrum five metres from their own line.

After getting out of their own territory, Castres thought they’d found another score when wing Kylian Jaminet broke clear on the right, only to have play brought back for a forward pass on the 10-metre line.

Michele Rizzo emerged for his seasonal debut, joining European debutant Betts and the experienced Polota-Nau in the front row, and Tigers penned their hosts back for long periods without finding a decisive break.

It was to prove costly when Castres, eho had scored just five second-half points up to that stage, released Batlle to grab his second try with just minutes of the game remaining. Diving in on the left. The conversion from Yohan le Bourhis made it 39-0 with 90 seconds remaining and any final chance of a breakthrough for Tigers evaporated when the kick-off flew straight out in the Castres half.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

CAS 27-0 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

CAS 39-0 LEI

Attendance

8,400

Referee

Andy Brace

Match Stats

Castres Olympique
Leicester Tigers
Possession
45%
55%
Territory
41%
59%
Penalties Conceded
15
11
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
163/177 92%
113/145 78%
Scrums Won
5/6 83%
5/5 100%
Lineouts Won
11/13 85%
15/18 83%

Player Stats

Castres Olympique
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15George Worth
14
13Matt Smith
12Charlie Thacker
11Adam Thompstone
10Joe Ford
9Sam Harrison
1Greg Bateman
2Harry Thacker
3Patrick Cilliers
4Harry Wells
5Michael Fitzgerald
6
7Will Evans
8Valentino Mapapalangi
16Tatafu Polota-Nau
17Michele Rizzo
18Ben Betts
19Joe Maksymiw
20Brendon O'Connor
21Harry Simmons
22Mathew Tait
23Nick Malouf
Castres Olympique
Castres Olympique
39

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
0
Castres Olympique
T
C
P
P
T
C
T
C
T
T
C
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers

Commentary

80

Thank you for your support

Thank you to all the Tigers fans for your support, particularly those who have made the trip to Castres.

Full time at Stade Pierre-Fabre

It's full-time in Castres, where the hosts have recorded a bonus-point win. A young Tigers team displayed real heart but have nothing to show for their efforts.

Conversion added

Replacement Le Bourhis lands the touchline conversion to complete the seven-point score.

Try for Castres

Castres have soaked up everything Tigers have thrown at them this half, and finish with a try of their own. There's a hint of a forward pass but no mistaking Batlle's finish at the corner.

75

Good defence from Brady

Urdapilleta spots Tigers shoot up in defence and slides a kick behind. Brady spots the danger and gets back to slide the ball into touch on the Leicester 22.

Maksymiw on for Euro debut

Mike Fitzgerald makes way for Joe Maksymiw, who makes his European debut. Le Bourhis is on for Castres for Tulou.

Captain's knock

Bateman's evening comes to an end after an all-action performance. He is replaced by Michele Rizzo for his first appearance of the season.

63

Not straight

Tigers are whistled for a not straight lineout, and the chance goes away.

63

Another penalty against Castres

Another promising Tigers attack is ended by a Castres defender not rolling. Referee Brace again chooses not to take further action. 5m lineout to come ...

60

No action taken

There appears to be a strike of the arm towards Valentino Mapapalangi but referee Brace is satisfied not to take any action.

60

Ref going to his TMO

The referee's attention has been brought to something by his touch judge. The TMO is now being consulted ...

More replacements

Harry Simmons comes on for his European debut for Harrison. Castres bring on Moreaux, Mafi and Domenech

58

Tigers 'try' ruled out

Tigers thought they had scored as Brady dives in at the right corner, but it's ruled out for Thompstone's forward pass to set him away.

57

Tigers hammering away

Tigers get their drive going again from a penalty lineout. Again it's stopped just short, but Castres are pinged for offside ... Ford taps and goes ...

Castres replacements

Tichit and Rallier off for the hosts, Firmin and Stroe on.

Tigers replacements

Betts, Polota-Nau, O'Connor and Malouf on for Tigers. Cilliers, H Thacker, Ryan and Smith off.

51

Another Tigers chance goes away

Brady runs a lovely line and puts Harrison through. He is tackled 5m short and Castres smother the ball to prevent quick release, but there's no penalty. Instead, Castres disrupt possession at the next phase and and hack clear.

Bonus point Castres

The home side have their bonus and it is Batlle with it. The winger makes the extra man on the outside and holds off Tom Brady to score.

45

Thacker pinged in attack

Another good position for the Tigers comes to nothing as Harry Thacker is whistled for taking out the defender past the ruck. But Ryan and Wells steal possession back at the resulting lineout.

42

Batlle back on

Tigers win an early penalty and kick into the Castres 22, where Harrison knocks on as he picks up at a ruck. Batlle, the Castres wing, is back on.

40

THE TEAMS ARE BACK OUT

Castres and Tigers are back out. Tigers will kick-off through Ford, attacking the end to our left.

40

Second half coming up

The rain has stopped at Stade Pierre-Fabre. Castres will be down to 14 men for the start of the second period as Batlle sees out the remainder of his sin-bin period.

Tigers again frustrated on half-time

Tigers again threaten the Castres line but again Leicester lose possession, this time Mathieu Babillot strips Evans 5m out. And that is the last action of the half.

Castres convert

Urdapilleta completes the seven-point score with the conversion.

Number two for Combezou

The Castres forwards make the hard yards for Combezou to finish from close range for his second try of the game.

35

Tigers pinged

It's a free-for-all as Tigers set up the maul, with Castres forwards coming in from all angles. But it is Tigers' hooker Harry Thacker who gets pinged for holding on in the tackle two phases later.

34

No further action

In the same attack, Will Evans is pulled back off the ball as he runs a supporting line. But the referee takes no further action.

Yellow for Castres winger

Sam Harrison makes a brilliant break from a maul. He is stopped on the line. Armand Batlle lies all over the ball to prevent it being recycled and he sees yellow.

32

Tigers frustrated

Castres back-rower Yannick Caballero rises high to pick off the lineout ball, and Castres find touch on their 22.

30

Tigers lineout drive

Tigers drive the Castres pack 8m back behind their line, where they pull it down. No penalty says referee Brace. The penalty does come for offside moments later, and another as Tigers play the advantage. Ford to the corner.

28

Tigers chance

Bateman intercepts in his own half and gets Tigers moving forward. Ford kicks deep for Charlie Thacker to chase, but he is pinged for a high tackle on the Castres defender on his line.

Urdipalleta converts

The Castres fly-half lands the conversion to give Castres a 20-0 lead.

Castres make the most of their turnover. Florian Vialelle picks up a chip ahead and finds Thomas Combezou inside, who runs behind the posts for a try.

24

Handling errors from the Tigers

Again Tigers get into a good position and again handling lets them down. This time Harrison's inside pass goes to ground and possession is turned over.

Bateman chats to the ref

Tigers falling foul of referee Brace on a number of occasions, as Urdipalleta extends the Castres lead with a second penalty. Bateman asks for clarification from the ref before the game restarts.

Castres extend their lead

Urdapilleta lands an easy penalty for Tigers going offside to move Castres 10-0 ahead.

14

Tigers under pressure

Tigers come under pressure after spilling the ball again in contact. Castres pile forward and win the offside penalty in front of the posts.

10

Penalty to the Tigers

Tigers looked under pressure at the scrum, but it is reset, and they win the penalty for Joe Ford to find touch on the Castres 10m line.

8

Bateman back into the action

Wolf whistles around the stadium as Bateman changes into a fresh shirt. He packs down for the first scrum of the game.

8

Treatment for the skipper

Charlie Thacker charges down in the midfield but referee Andrew Brace rules it as a knock on. Scrum to come on a very soft pitch, but not before Bateman gets some treatment for a cut.

6

Tigers possession

Tigers settle into the game with a period of possession that takes them into the Castres 22. However, Ryan spills possession in contact and the hosts hack clear,

Urdapilleta converts

Urdapilleta lands a simple conversion for the seven-point score. Castres lead 7-0.

Try for the hosts

It's a great start for Castres, and Urdapilleta, who hacks through loose ball and scores next to the posts in the opening minute.

0

Castres to kick-off

Castres No10 Benjamin Urdapilleta kicks-off. It's fielded by Harry Wells, as Tigers attack the end to our right.

0

The Castres Olympique team

Castres Olympique: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Kylian Jaminet, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic; 1 Antoine Tichit, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 3 Damien Tussac, 4 Alexandre Bias, 5 Thibault Lassalle, 6 Yannick Caballero, 7 Mathieu Babillot (c), 8 Alex Tulou Replacements: 16 Kevin Firmin, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Victor Moreaux, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Yohan Domenech, 22 Yohan Le Bourhis, 23 Julien Dumora

0

The Tigers team

Tigers: 15 George Worth, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Sam Harrison; 1 Greg Bateman (c), 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Pat Cilliers, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 6 Dominic Ryan, 7 Will Evans, 8 Valentino Mapapalangi Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ben Betts, 19 Joe Maksymiw, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Harry Simmons, 22 Mathew Tait, 23 Nick Malouf

0

Weather update

The rain is coming down in Castres as the teams go through their warm-ups. It's a still evening in southern France with temperatures of around 7C

0

Welcome to Stade Pierre-Fabre

The 12,500-capacity Stade Pierre-Fabre is the stage for Castres Olympique against Tigers in Round 5 of Europe's Champions Cup


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Geoffrey Palis
14
13
Thomas Combezou
12
Florian Vialelle
11
Armand Batlle
10
Benjamin Urdapilleta
9
Ludovic Radosavljevic
1
Antoine Tichit
2
Marc-Antoine Rallier
3
4
Alexandre Bias
5
Thibault Lassalle
6
Yannick Caballero
7
Mathieu Babillot
8
Alex Tulou

Subs

16
Kevin Firmin
17
Tudor Stroe
18
Daniel Kotze
19
Victor Moreaux
20
Steve Mafi
21
Yohan Domenech
22
Yohan Le Bourhis
23
Julien Dumora

Team news: European Champions Cup

Leicester Tigers welcome back Dominic Ryan, Tom Brady and Pat Cilliers after injury for Sunday’s European Champions Cup fixture away to Castres Olympique.

Ryan returns to the back row and Brady starts his first game of the season after overcoming an ankle injury. South Africa international prop Cilliers joins Greg Bateman and Harry Thacker in the front row. Bateman will captain the team for the first time at the Stade Pierre Fabre.

There is a recall in the back row for Will Evans, while Sam Harrison takes over at scrum-half with Ben Youngs among the England players sitting out this weekend.

Michele Rizzo, who has been on loan with Edinburgh, returns to take a place among the replacements.

Head coach Matt O’Connor said: “It was good to get the Premiership win against London Irish last week but we were disappointed with the performance and there is plenty to work on.

“We’ve had to make some changes for this week with the England players required to rest in the build-up to the Six Nations and guys like Logo Mulipola, Manu Tuilagi and Matt Toomua all coming back into a tough schedule of games recently after significant injury absences.

“Their absence provides an opportunity for other players to go out there, put in a performance and stake their claim.”

Tigers return to home ground for the Round 6 fixture against Racing 92 next Sunday (January 21). Kick-off is at 1.00pm and tickets are available now. Book in person at the Tigers ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or book online.

Leicester Tigers (v Castres, away, Sunday 6.30pm local time/5.30pm UK time)

15 George Worth

14 Tom Brady

13 Matt Smith

12 Charlie Thacker

11 Adam Thompstone

10 Joe Ford

9 Sam Harrison

1 Greg Bateman (c)

2 Harry Thacker

3 Pat Cilliers

4 Harry Wells

5 Mike Fitzgerald

6 Dominic Ryan

7 Will Evans

8 Valentino Mapapalangi

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau

17 Michele Rizzo

18 Ben Betts

19 Joe Maksymiw

20 Brendon O’Connor

21 Harry Simmons

22 Mathew Tait

23 Nick Malouf

Castres Olympique: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Kylian Jaminet, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic; 1 Antoine Tichit, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 3 Damien Tussac, 4 Alexandre Bias, 5 Thibault Lassalle, 6 Yannick Caballero, 7 Mathieu Babillot (c), 8 Alex Tulou
Replacements: 16 Kevin Firmin, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Victor Moreaux, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Yohan Domenech, 22 Yohan Le Bourhis, 23 Julien Dumora

Champions Cup preview: Tigers in Castres

Ben Youngs reaches out to score in the home win over Castres in October
Ben Youngs reaches out to score in the home win over Castres in October

Leicester Tigers make a first-ever trip to the Stade Pierre Fabre on Sunday for a European Champions Cup tie with Castres Olympique.

The two clubs’ only previous meeting was at Welford Road in October when Tigers claimed a bonus-point win in a 54-29 triumph in Pool 4, with Telusa Veainu scoring a hat-trick of tries.

Since then, Castres have been among the form sides in the French Top 14 and now sit in fourth place in the league table, just four points behind Champions Cup rivals Racing 92 who head to Welford Road next Saturday.

French league champions in 2013, Castres is the home town of new Leicester City FC manager Claude Puel and is located about 90 minutes from Toulouse. The Stade Pierre Fabre has a 10,500 capacity.

Team news was announced on Friday, with Tigers making a number of changes following the Aviva Premiership win over London Irish last weekend including the return of Dom Ryan, Tom Brady and Pat Cilliers after injury.

The Castres side includes six players who started the Round 2 tie at Welford Road. Former Tigers flanker Steve Mafi is named among the replacements but there is no place for David Smith, who scored a second-half hat-trick in the game at Leicester, or for club captain Rodrigo Ortega.

Looking ahead to the game, Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “Castres are going very well in the Top 14 and have a very good home record. They’re a good side, they make very few mistakes and make you work hard to try to break them down.

“Our performance against them in the home leg was probably our best of the season. Certainly in attack, we did a lot of good things that day. The challenge is to stand up physically and try to duplicate some of those things we did in attack.

“We were disappointed with the things we delivered against London Irish last Saturday and there is a lot to work on, but at the same time there we have things to build on. We need to be more accurate in the big moments and put more pressure on opposition.”

Referee for Sunday is Andrew Brace from Ireland.

Kick-off is at 6.30pm French time (5.30pm UK time). The game is scheduled for live TV coverage with BT Sport. Or you can keep up with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app.

Tigers will wear the white alternate kit at the Stade Pierre Fabre.

The team return to home ground next Sunday (January 21) for the visit of Racing 92 in the final round of Pool 4 fixtures. Kick-off is at 1.00pm and match tickets are available now. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Castres Olympique
Castres OlympiqueCAS6213111161-5013202012
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI6105118171-531219127

Leicester Tigers make a first-ever trip to the Stade Pierre Fabre on Sunday for a European Champions Cup tie with Castres Olympique.

The two clubs’ only previous meeting was at Welford Road in October when Tigers claimed a bonus-point win in a 54-29 triumph in Pool 4, with Telusa Veainu scoring a hat-trick of tries.

Since then, Castres have been among the form sides in the French Top 14 and now sit in fourth place in the league table, just four points behind Champions Cup rivals Racing 92 who head to Welford Road next Saturday.

French league champions in 2013, Castres is the home town of new Leicester City FC manager Claude Puel and is located about 90 minutes from Toulouse. The Stade Pierre Fabre has a 10,500 capacity.

Team news was announced on Friday, with Tigers making a number of changes following the Aviva Premiership win over London Irish last weekend including the return of Dom Ryan, Tom Brady and Pat Cilliers after injury.

The Castres side includes six players who started the Round 2 tie at Welford Road. Former Tigers flanker Steve Mafi is named among the replacements but there is no place for David Smith, who scored a second-half hat-trick in the game at Leicester, or for club captain Rodrigo Ortega.

Looking ahead to the game, Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “Castres are going very well in the Top 14 and have a very good home record. They’re a good side, they make very few mistakes and make you work hard to try to break them down.

“Our performance against them in the home leg was probably our best of the season. Certainly in attack, we did a lot of good things that day. The challenge is to stand up physically and try to duplicate some of those things we did in attack.

“We were disappointed with the things we delivered against London Irish last Saturday and there is a lot to work on, but at the same time there we have things to build on. We need to be more accurate in the big moments and put more pressure on opposition.”

Referee for Sunday is Andrew Brace from Ireland.

Kick-off is at 6.30pm French time (5.30pm UK time). The game is scheduled for live TV coverage with BT Sport. Or you can keep up with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app.

Tigers will wear the white alternate kit at the Stade Pierre Fabre.

The team return to home ground next Sunday (January 21) for the visit of Racing 92 in the final round of Pool 4 fixtures. Kick-off is at 1.00pm and match tickets are available now. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online.

Form Guide
Castres Olympique
Form
LLWLW
Last Match
Beat Munster 13-12
Past Meeting
Won 39-0
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 11-34
Past Meeting
Lost 0-39

Matchday Live

Castres Olympique39
Castres Olympique
Leicester Tigers0
Leicester Tigers
Full Time