Edinburgh edge out Sale Sharks for crucial away win
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP MATCH REPORT: Edinburgh Rugby came from 12-0 down to record a 16-15 away win over Sale Sharks in the European Champions Cup on Saturday evening.
A converted try from Matt Bennett alongside a trio of successful penalty kicks from Jaco van der Walt proved enough to edge out Sale Sharks, who played the crucial final 10 minutes with 14 men.
The English side made a fast start, scoring the opening try as they reacted fastest to a penalty and as play worked wide to Denny Solomona, he sprinted clear and evaded the chasing Blair Kinghorn.
Sale soon ran in a second try for the evening as Sam Hill found Rohan Janse Van Rensburg who was just too fast for the trailing Edinburgh defenders.
The English side went in 12-0 ahead at the break, but a more creative and determined Edinburgh side would come out for the second half.
After some patient build-up, they worked it out wide to find Matt Bennett who crashed past two Sale tacklers and crossed the whitewash, nipping inside to make the successful conversion easier for Van der Walt.
Sale’s indiscipline was proving costly, and as they took their penalties conceded tally up to 10 for the evening, with two of them being in kicking range, Van der Walt landed both and put the Scottish region a point ahead.
The English side would hit the front again with ten minutes to play as Rob Du Preez landed a long-range penalty kick, but the crucial penalty would be given shortly after.
Jean-Luc du Preez was sent to the sin bin, meaning Edinburgh would end the match with an extra man and Van der Walt kicked the match-winning three-pointer with seven minutes left to play.
Despite some pressure from the hosts, Edinburgh were able to seal a narrow success and put themselves right back into contention for Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage qualification.
For Sale Sharks
Tries: Solomon, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Du Preez
Pen: Du Preez
Yellow Card: J Du Preez 70′
Cons: Van der Walt
Pen: Van der Walt 3
Sale Sharks: 15 Sam James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Francois de Klerk (captain), 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Jacobus Wiese, 5 Jean-Pierre du Preez, 4 Matthew Postlethwaite, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Bevan Rodd.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 James Phillips, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Connor Doherty, 23 Luke James.
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Jack Blain, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Charlie Shiel, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jamie Hodgson, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 WP Nel, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Nathan Chamberlain, 23 James Johnstone.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), John Meredith (England)
TMO: Claire Hodnett (England)