Sale keep hopes alive as Stade snatch bonus

SALE director of rugby Phillipe Saint-Andre insisted his side’s Heineken Cup hopes remains alive after beating Stade Francais at Edgeley Park.

The Sharks’ European dream is hanging by a thread after they failed to secure the bonus-point victory which would have taken them to 11 points with two games remaining.

Instead, the French Championship leaders claimed a bonus point to move to 15 points in Pool Three while Ospreys are second on 14.

However, bonus-point victories in their remaining two matches – away to Italian minnows Calvisano and home to Ospreys – could yet secure Sale an improbable quarter-final spot.

Saint-Andre said: “I ask my players never to give up and we’ve won here and we’ll fight until the last game.”

Lee Thomas, who impressed at fly-half after being given the nod ahead of Daniel Larrechea, kicked three penalties and Chris Bell added a drop-goal in the opening period.

Sale failed to build on their 12-0 advantage, however, and never really looked like penetrating Stade thereafter.

A first-half penalty from Lionel Beauxis was added to late in the second half by another penalty from David Skerla to hand the Parisians a bonus point.

Stade boss Fabien Galthie was delighted to have secured a potentially priceless bonus point.

“It’s important for us to make sure that we get into the quarter-finals.”

SALE: Robinson, Foden, Mayor, Bell, Ripol, Thomas, Wigglesworth, Roberts, Titterrell, Stewart, Schofield, I. Fernandez Lobbe, Jones, Lund, Chabal.

Replacements: Faure for Roberts (51), Turner for Stewart (51), J. Fernandez Lobbe for Schofield (62), Bonner-Evans for I. Fernandez Lobbe (77).

STADE FRANCAIS: Martin Hernandez, Saubade, Messina, M. Bergamasco, Corleto, Beauxis, Fillol, Marconnet, Blin, De Villiers, Auradou, M. James, M. Bergamasco, Rabadan, Parisse.

Replacements: Skrela for Beauxis (56), Pichot for Fillol (56), Roncero for Marconnet (52), Kayser for Blin (66), Marchois for M. James (70), Burban for M. Bergamasco (40).

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRFU).

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox