Hartley happy that Saints are still in European contention

HAPPY - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley
HAPPY - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley

Skipper Dylan Hartley says Saints have shown good character to still be in the Heineken Cup mix by round six.

Hartley and Co beat Castres 18-12 at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night to keep their hopes of a quarter-final spot alive.

It will take a good win at Glasgow on Saturday and a slice of luck for them to do it, but it’s a scenario they will accept after losing two of their first three Pool 4 games.

Castres and Ulster put Saints to the sword in round two and three respectively, but Jim Mallinder’s men have battled back from those defeats.

And Hartley said: “”It shows we have a good character (to still be in the competition).

“Friday was a good all-round performance. We wanted to score four tries and take five points but they are a good team and to close out a game as close as that was quite professional.

“Recently we haven’t closed out those games.”

Glasgow have yet to claim a win in this season’s competition, and Saints will be eager to get a bonus-point win at Scotstoun on Saturday afternoon.

And Hartley, who has led his team to wins at places such as Gloucester, Ulster and Exeter already this season, says the belief is high in the Northampton camp.

“Going into this week, we have to get five points to keep hopes alive,” he said. “We are doing all right away from home. The spirit is good in the camp.

“All we can do is worry about winning and hopefully the tries will come with that.”