Saracens equal Munster’s record for consecutive Champions Cup wins

Saracens equal Munster’s record for consecutive Champions Cup wins
Sale Sharks TJ Ioane is held up by the Saracens defence at the AJ Bell Stadium. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA

Sale 10 Saracens 26

Owen Farrell took centre-stage as Saracens claimed a record-equalling 13th straight European Champions Cup win which meant Denny Solomona suffered a losing debut for Sale.

Farrell scored a late try and kicked 14 points as the reigning European champions matched Munster's record of successive wins with a hard-fought 26-10 victory.

For the second match in succession, Sale had three players sin-binned against Saracens, but this was a vastly improved display from last week's 50-3 hammering at Allianz Park.

Solomona played 80 minutes on the right wing but could not find the whitewash as Saracens produced a typically clinical display to underline their class.

Nathan Earle scored a second try late on for Saracens before Sale lock Bryn Evans grabbed a last-gasp consolation for the hosts, who slipped to their sixth straight defeat.

Solomona was announced as a Sale player earlier this week before Castleford responded by issuing High Court proceedings for damages against the player.

The Super League outfit are also seeking damages against Sale and Solomona's agent Andy Clarke for allegedly inducing a breach of contract.

Sale confirmed on Tuesday that prolific try-scorer Solomona had signed a three-year contract with them, despite still having two years left on his Tigers deal.

He was facing a Saracens outfit who were crowned European champions last season and who thrashed the Sharks 50-3 last week.

Sale were significantly improved during the first half but Saracens established a slender 6-3 lead courtesy of two penalties from Farrell.

The hosts created the first opening in the eighth minute when Josh Charnley collected possession inside his own half and showed impressive pace to advance into the right channel.

The former Wigan man then found full-back Mike Haley but he could not find Solomona lurking on the right touchline and the ball went into touch.

Farrell's first penalty then put Saracens ahead after Sale were caught offside, and then midway through the first half Solomona was presented with a golden opportunity.

Brad Barritt's wayward pass found Solomona on the edge of Sale's 22 but the league convert spilled the ball and the opportunity was lost.

Saracens began to probe but Sale's defence was impressive as they continually kept their visitors at bay.

After AJ MacGinty kicked a penalty to draw Sale level in the 28th minute, Saracens went close when Farrell orchestrated a fine counter-attack which saw Barritt's kick to the corner sail into touch.

Another penalty from Farrell restored the visitors' advantage before the break while Sale lost hooker Rob Webber to a yellow card four minutes after the restart.

Farrell then uncharacteristically missed two penalties in quick succession but he found his range for another three-pointer after Sale lock Evans was penalised for a deliberate knock-on.

After Solomona failed to take MacGinty's cross-field kick in his stride in the right corner, Sale then lost number TJ Ioane to a yellow card in the last 10 minutes after Farrell had escaped punishment for catching Haley late.

Farrell then went over late on from Will Skelton's pass and Earle touched down a grubber kick before Evans crashed over late on for Sale.

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