Boks help Sale see off Ospreys in Champions Cup
EURO CUP REPORT: A strong first-half performance from Sale Sharks ensured they left Swansea with a 21-13 victory over Ospreys in the Champions Cup on Saturday.
It was all too easy for Sale early on as Springbok Rohan Janse van Rensburg powered his way over the line on three minutes, a score which AJ MacGinty converted.
Ospreys responded through a Gareth Anscombe penalty but Ewan Ashman then benefitted from a rumbling Sale maul as the away side notched their second try of the game on 11 minutes, again converted by MacGinty.
Sale remained in control for much of the first half and notched a third converted score as Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez reached over a ruck to plant down from close range on 24 minutes.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 12, 2021
A yellow card for Lood de Jager saw Sale reduced to 14 men just before the break but Ospreys were unable to break through – that was until 49 minutes, after Sale were back to their full complement.
Rhys Webb floated a pass out to Luke Morgan who went over in the corner and Josh Thomas’ conversion reduced the deficit to eight points.
Ospreys were much improved in the second half and were on top for large spells but struggled to find a way past a dogged Sale defence.
The visitors were once again reduced to 14 men when Ben Curry was sent to the sin bin on 68 minutes, but despite Ospreys’ best efforts they couldn’t add to their points tally.
Raffi Quirke almost nicked a fourth try late on for Sale but a TMO review ruled the score out, leaving the Gallagher Premiership side to settle with a 21-13 win.
Sale host ASM Clermont Auvergne in Round Two on Saturday while Ospreys visit Racing 92.
Try: L Morgan
Con: J Thomas
Pens: Anscombe, J Thomas
Tries: Janse van Rensburg, Ashman, JL du Preez
Cons: MacGinty 3
Yellow cards: Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks, 49); Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 68)
Ospreys: 15 Mat Protheroe, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Rhys Webb (captain), 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Rhys Davies, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Jack Regan, 20 Ethan Roots, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Tiaan Thomas Wheeler.
Sale: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Rob du Preez, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Raffi Quirke, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Tom Curry (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Bevan Rodd.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sam Dugdale, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Sam James, 23 Luke James.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Manuel Bottino (Italy), Filippo Russo (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)