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Saturday, 5 January, 2002, 19:48 GMT
Clinical Castres march on
Huw Harries
Bridgend captain Huw Harries started the match on the bench
Bridgend 26-37 Castres

Castres chalked up their fourth victory in pool four of the Heineken Cup to set-up a crucial showdown with Munster in their final pool game next weekend.

Inspired by French international winger Ugo Mola, Castres destroyed Bridgend in the opening period and had effectively won the game by the interval as they led 24-0.

Bridgend produced a spirited recovery in the second period when they scored four tries, but they are still looking for their first win in the competition.

  Scores and scorers
Bridgend 26
Tries: Dafydd James, Craig Warlow (2) & Colin Noon
Cons: Warlow (3)

Castres 37
Tries: Ugo Mola (3) & Norm Berryman
Cons: Romain Teulet (4)
Pens: Teulet (3)
The visitors came out of the blocks superbly and stunned the Welsh side with an outstanding performance in the opening 25 minutes.

Kiwi centre Norman Berryman opened Castres's account with a 12th-minute try which full-back Romain Teulet converted.

Three minutes later a towering kick from Scotland fly-half Gregor Townsend caused havoc in the Bridgend defence and the ball bounced kindly into the hands of Mola who touched down for a second try, which Teulet again converted.

Driving seat

By the end of the first quarter Mola had grabbed his second and Castres' third try as he latched onto a Townsend kick ahead and out-paced Gareth Thomas to the line.

Teulet converted and added a penalty to give the visitors what proved to be an unassailable advantage.

Bridgend suffered a further set back when Tongan centre Josh Taumalolo limped off with suspected knee ligament damage which could rule him out for the rest of the season.

Although Teulet landed two penalties early in the second half Bridgend at least managed to trouble the scoreboard with a stunning individual try from fly-half and captain Craig Warlow.

However, Mola intercepted a Thomas pass to complete his hat-trick and at 37-7 the French side were firmly in the driving seat.

Bridgend used their one-man advantage to good effect and added three tries in the final 12 minutes through prop Colin Noon, Warlow and Lions centre Dafydd James.

Bridgend: Durston, D. Jones, James, Taumalolo, G. Thomas, Warlow, Hewlett, Loader, Ferris, Thiel, D. Jones, Clapham, Molitika, Ringer, van Rensburg.
Replacements: Harries, Devereux, Funnell, G. Williams, Noon, Budgett, Bryan.

Castres: Teulet, Mola, Artiguste, Berryman, Longstaff, Townsend, Albouy, Dima, R. Vigneaux, Moyle, Laluque, Spanghero, Froment, Lassissi, I. Fernandez-Lobbe.
Replacements: Tsabadze, Reggiardo, Bourdet, Costes, Delmotte, Plisson.

Referee: A Ireland (Grangemouth, SRFU).

Gareth Lewis reports for BBC Wales
"Perhaps the lack of atmosphere affected the players"
See also:

03 Jan 02 |  European
Toulouse end Newport hopes
02 Jan 02 |  European
Quinnell takes a back seat
03 Jan 02 |  European
Moore worry for Swansea
03 Jan 02 |  European
Cardiff pride under threat
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