Lesson learned for Saints skipper Hartley

EARLY AMBITION - Dylan Hartley (Picture: Linda Dawson)
EARLY AMBITION - Dylan Hartley (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Dylan Hartley admits he learned a lesson from Saints’ game against Castres on Friday night.

The skipper says he should have told his team to kick their early penalties rather than attempt to put the pressure on the French team at the scrum.

As it was, Saints had all the early ball, desperately trying to break the Castres line, but being met with stern resistance up front.

Stephen Myler’s three-pointer on the stroke of half-time was all the home side had to show for their efforts before the break.

And Hartley, who eventually saw his team earn a 13-3 victory, said: “There was plenty of character there to play to 80 minutes and take an opportunity with a good bit of pressure but, as frustrating as it was to watch, it was equally frustrating to play in.

“They’re a good team aren’t they? You expect French teams with nothing to play for to fold, but I take it on my shoulders because early on I probably should have got the scoreboard ticking over.

“But I went for the dominance factor trying to get the scrums and the pushover try. It didn’t really pay off for us so maybe there’s a lesson learned there.

“Maybe 3-0, 6-0, 9-0, 12-0 they would have shut up shop and gone home early but they stuck with us and gave us a difficult evening.”