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Edinburgh Rugby and Castres Olympique will be searching for their first win of the campaign as they meet in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday.
Edinburgh were narrowly beaten away at Saracens, going down 30-26, while Castres were defeated at home by Exeter, 12-27.
The Pool A match will kick off at DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh at 13:00 (UK and Irish time) on Saturday, and is available to watch on BT Sport, beIN SPORTS, SuperSport and FloRugby.
Edinburgh Rugby captain Grant Gilchrist: “We undoubtedly will need to maintain the same levels of Saracens. We’re in the Champions Cup. Every team you play is right up there.
“We just hope for a big crowd on Saturday, and hope that with a performance like that we can really drag the home crowd with us. It would be an awesome win and put us right in the mix, having at least left Saracens with a point.
“Playing Champions Cup rugby is why you play, to play in these big games. We loved the way we fronted up in the physical parts against Saracens, our maul D and defensively at the contact area – those are the things that will matter against big French sides as well.”
Best try on opening weekend? 🤩
Vote for your #HeinekenChampionsCup Try of the Round now ➡️ https://t.co/7kbfYhvpyj pic.twitter.com/Ufjj8qHJko
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 13, 2022
- Emiliano Boffelli successfully kicked all of his goals against Saracens, putting him at the top of the points scoring charts so far with 16.
- Viliame Mata and James Lang made the most dominant carry contacts in Round 1 (nine and seven respectively).
- Castres won just half of their own throws into the lineout last week, the lowest of the round.
- Leone Nakarawa made five offloads last week – more than any other player.
- Tom Staniforth made 22 tackles in Round 1, the joint-most of any player.
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Edinburgh Rugby claimed an important 31-20 win over Castres Olympique in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday.
In the first Heineken Champions Cup match held at The DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh were well deserving winners as efforts from Bill Mata, Charlie Savala and Ben Vellacott, plus a first-half penalty try, secured the bonus point.
Castres fought hard, but simply couldn’t create enough on the day, despite crossing for three tries, through Pierre Colonna, Julien Blanc and Adrien Seguret.
The first 19 minutes were well contested, but Edinburgh eventually made the breakthrough; a tap and go from a penalty under the posts, and centre Mata came from deep to power over the line, Emiliano Boffelli adding the extras as he did for all the hosts’ tries.
BIG BILL 👊
Mata powers over as @EdinburghRugby open the scoring…
Watch live on @btsportrugby, @beinsports_fr, @SuperSportTV & @FloRugby 📺#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/uVCa4GJUUZ
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 17, 2022
Castres responded through Colonna, the ball bouncing out of a lineout in Edinburgh’s 22 and into the hooker’s hands. The 21-year-old then weaved his way through the gap to the try-line in a piece of individual brilliance.
Castres took the lead on 29 minutes with a well-worked try finished by scrum-half Blanc, but with both first-half crosses for the French team unconverted, Edinburgh took back their lead before the break.
Referee Tom Foley lost his patience after seeing one infringement too many by Castres in their own 22, awarding the Scottish region a penalty try.
Edinburgh flew out of the blocks in the second half and soon extended their lead, replacement fly-half Savala finishing an excellent move on 47 minutes, and when scrum-half Vellacott capitalised on a Castres mistake behind their own line to down a loose ball, the game was all but over.
The French side may have responded instantly through centre Seguret, but a late penalty from full-back Boffelli killed off all hope of a comeback.
Next up for both teams is a repeat of this match in Round 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup, with Edinburgh tasked with braving a fiery Stade Pierre Fabre on January 15.
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