Sale’s bid to succeed in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals got here to an finish as they crashed to a 45-21 defeat by the hands of La Rochelle at Stade Marcel Deflandre.
Two tries within the opening 12 minutes of the second half from wing Raymond Rhule put paid to Sale’s hopes and ensured La Rochelle reached the final 4 of the competitors for the primary time.
The house aspect scored two tries within the first half to construct up a nine-point lead, however Sale hit again with an ideal rating of their very own on the stroke of half-time to the hole to 2 factors and stored the sport within the melting pot.
However then got here Rhule’s double, adopted by two extra from centre Geoffrey Doumayrou and the French aspect had been on their technique to the ultimate 4.
Sale weren’t as sharp as they’d been the earlier weekend once they tore the Scarlets to shreds with six tries in a 57-14 demolition at Parc y Scarlets.
Sharks fly-half AJ MacGinty, who had hit the goal 11 instances out of 11 seven days earlier, missed together with his first shot at aim earlier than giving his aspect an eighth-minute lead.
He swapped two penalties with reverse quantity Ihaia West earlier than La Rochelle notched the primary of their six tries within the twenty eighth minute.
A towering up and beneath from West was not handled by Simon Hamersley on his 22 and the house aspect regained possession. West kicked cross subject from proper to left and located quantity eight Victor Vito loitering within the extensive open areas. The previous All Black went into contact and someway handed the ball across the again of his tackler to launch fellow back-row man Greg Alldritt for an excellent rating.
MacGinty’s third penalty of the half pegged it again to a two-point hole, however on the stroke of half-time a blindside raid on midway by Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk got here to grief.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 10, 2021
As he tried to launch Marland Yarde, his cross was knocked down, and backwards between his legs, by La Rochelle wing Dillyn Leyds. He picked up, pinned again his ears and raced to the suitable nook for a attempt that West improved off the touchline.
That regarded like being decisive, however the Sharks had different concepts. Slick dealing with down their again line, and an ideal help line from centre Sam James earned them a attempt with the final transfer of the primary half.
MacGinty missed the conversion, however Irish referee Andrew Brace gave him a second shot after recognizing Will Skelton shouting at him as he ran as much as kick. This time he made no mistake and the hole was again to 2 factors on the break.
Nonetheless, La Rochelle hit their opponents exhausting at first of the second half and Sale’s hopes of a semi-final look disappeared.
Rhule raced away for his two tries earlier than Doumayrou matched him with two of his personal as he emerged on the tip of two extra nice dealing with strikes to finish the job.
Byron McGuigan’s late comfort attempt for the guests did little to cover the actual fact Sale had been dominated bodily and outgunned behind.
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