Champions Cup: Sale Sharks attain final eight after thrashing Scarlets

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Sale booked a Champions Cup quarter-final journey to La Rochelle by crushing the Scarlets 57-14 in Llanelli. Sale’s first European Cup last-eight look for 15 years was by no means doubtful after they produced a dominant show constructed on immense ahead energy.

The Scarlets had no reply because the hooker Akker van der Merwe scored two first-half tries, whereas the fly-half AJ MacGinty kicked two conversions and three penalties to open up a 23-0 interval lead.

MacGinty completed with 32 factors, breaking Charlie Hodgson’s particular person Sale file for a European Cup sport set in 2006.

His haul included a strive whereas the wing Marland Yarde, the lock Josh Beaumont and the substitute scrum-half Raphael Quirke additionally touched down, and MacGinty’s immaculate efficiency featured 11 profitable kicks out of 11.

The Wales hooker Ken Owens and the flanker Jac Morgan scored tries for the Scarlets that Leigh Halfpenny transformed, however the Welsh facet have been outclassed and outmuscled as Sale minimize unfastened and condemned their opponents to a file European Cup house defeat.

Sale and the European Cup holders, Exeter, will fly the English flag subsequent weekend, though La Rochelle confirmed spectacular high quality in beating Gloucester and the Chiefs should overcome the four-times event winners Leinster.

The Edinburgh head coach, Richard Cockerill, gave a brutally trustworthy evaluation of his facet’s show within the 56-3 Champions Cup defeat towards Racing 92 in Paris, admitting they “received what they deserved”.

Racing, final season’s runners-up, made it 4 French groups within the final eight as they ran in seven tries in an unbelievable all-round efficiency at La Défense Area. They are going to now journey to fulfill Bordeaux-Bègles, who beat Bristol Bears.

“There isn’t a shame and coming right here and dropping, however the margin of the outcome seems to be ugly,” mentioned Cockerill. “Bodily they have been excellent and we couldn’t address them. We did some good issues within the first half and had some scoring possibilities, however they’re a fantastic facet. Whenever you get behind and have to start out chasing the sport it turns into very tough.

“We received what we deserved in the long run and we weren’t adequate to get wherever close to them. The scoreboard doesn’t lie and I’m not going to draw back from that.”

The one blots on the house facet’s copybook have been accidents suffered by Henry Chavancy, the previous All Black lock Dominic Fowl, the French hooker Camile Chat and the scrum-half Maxime Machenaud. Chavancy, the captain, dislocated his shoulder and, together with Fowl, who picked up a neck damage, left the sector on a stretcher.

Edinburgh virtually received off to the dream begin, however by some means managed to blow two nice try-scoring alternatives within the opening three minutes, and when the primary strive got here it was from the excellent hooker Camille Chat, who powered over from a metre out.

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The helter-skelter rugby continued within the second half, though it took 16 minutes earlier than Antoine Gibert prolonged the house lead with a penalty off the 10m line earlier than Jordan Joseph powered over within the 62nd minute after which the Georgian prop Guram Gogichashvili quickly adopted swimsuit. Teddy Thomas then streaked clear from the midway line too add a second minutes later, and François Trinh-Duc scored a seventh attempt to spherical issues off.

“It was a extremely proud effort and an effective way to show round a disappointing loss within the Prime 14 final weekend towards Bayonne. We confirmed quite a lot of character towards a robust Edinburgh staff,” mentioned Racing’s Kurtley Beale. “There’s nonetheless lots to work on, however we are going to take this and construct into subsequent week.

Exeter’s emphatic win over Lyon on Saturday has landed them a house tie with Leinster on Saturday, and the defending champions’ coach, Rob Baxter, believes their weekend exertions will stand them in good stead towards opponents who didn’t play, having been given a walkover within the final 16 following a Covid case inside the Toulon squad.

“Leinster will try to use the non-game as a bonus for them and a possibility to get participant restoration in,” Baxter mentioned. “However we’ll have a look at the Lyon sport as completely very important for us. We knew we wanted to play. I can’t say how the cancellation will assist or hinder Leinster. All I can say is that it’s going to assist us.

“Jonny Hill will probably be higher for that as most of our guys will. I truly thought it was fascinating what number of of our guys seemed like they wanted an excellent run round. It seemed like worldwide rugby had been of a decrease depth in a method.”

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