TACKLING machine Sam Lewis put in a near-faultless defensive display in Worcester Warriors’ 17-9 defeat at Castres in the European Challenge Cup.

The Welsh flanker completed 20 tackles – more than any other player on the pitch on Saturday – and missed just one.

Fly-half Duncan Weir (11) and lock Graham Kitchener (10) were the only other Warriors players that managed to get into double figures.


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But there were a few creaks in Warriors’ defence with wing Ed Fidow missing four of his six attempted tackles while Weir also missed four.

Filipo Nakosi brushed off a tackle from wing Perry Humphreys to dot down in the corner on 13 minutes. Castres then exploited a gap, with Camille Gerondeau skipping past full-back Chris Pennell and Rory Kockett getting away from Humphreys before popping the ball out to Baptiste Delaporte who drove over.

Boss Alan Solomons will also be frustrated with his side’s penalty count as they were penalised 12 times – their highest tally since the Premiership defeat at Northampton Saints last month.

Flanker Ted Hill gave away three penalties while second row pairing Anton Bresler and Kitchener were both pinged twice and number eight replacement GJ van Velze was sin-binned late on.

In attack, Pennell clocked up 57 metres from 15 carries, made one clean break and beat one defender.

Centre Francois Venter was also effective with ball in hand, racking up 45 metres from just seven carries and beat two defenders, while Humphreys made 42 carries from six runs.

As well as making eight tackles number eight Cornell du Preez beat two defenders and carried the ball 10 times in a solid showing.

KEY STATS (according to ESPN).

Castres/Warriors Possession: 51 per cent / 49 per cent.

Territory: 56 per cent / 44 per cent.

Metres run with ball: 402/317.

Kicks from hand: 36/36.

Clean breaks: 9/2.

Defenders beaten: 25/13.

Offloads: 9/4.

Turnovers conceded: 12/5.

Tackles made: 118/127.

Tackles missed: 13/25.

Scrums won: 3/6.

Scrums lost: 0/0.

Lineouts won: 15/7.

Lineouts lost: 1/2.

Penalties conceded: 9/12.