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The Welsh region slipped to a third straight loss in Pool 1 as they were edged out 15-9 at the Stade Pierre Antoine, a result that leaves them bottom of the table and 12 points adrift of leaders Leinster.
They will take heart from the manner of their performance against the French Champions, though, after they remained in the hunt throughout despite knowing that it was already highly unlikely that they would be able to reach the knockout stages after previous failures against Leinster and Northampton Saints.
Steve Tandy’s troops prevented Castres from crossing their line and took a losing bonus point back to Wales, where they will be confident of gaining immediate revenge given that only Leinster and Saracens have breached their Swansea home in Europe in the past eight years.
Toulouse are the only French side to have triumphed at the Liberty Stadium and that result came in the Ospreys’ first French encounter back in January 2004. Since then, Toulon, Perpignan, Bourgoin, Stade Francais and Toulouse have all tried and failed, while ASM Clermont Auvergne have twice been beaten in South West Wales.
Stade earned a draw in 2007 but Castres are among the long list of losing Top 14 teams having been seen off 20-11 at the same venue in January 2005.
Castres’ record on the road in the Heineken Cup doesn’t make happy reading for Rory Kockott and co, either, even though they beat Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun last term.
Prior to the that success in Scotland, you had to go back to January 2007 to find an away win in the continent’s top tournament, with Castres losing to Northampton (three times), Leinster (twice), Edinburgh (twice), London Wasps (twice), Ulster, Scarlets, Munster, Cardiff Blues and Perpignan since they beat Benetton Treviso nearly seven years ago.
But they will head across the Channel in high spirits having won two of their first three Heineken Cup games so far this season and come close to shocking Leinster in Dublin, where they were unfortunate not to pick up at least a losing bonus point.