Faf stars as Sale thump Bristol
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Sale Sharks leapfrogged play-off rivals Bristol Bears into second place in the English Premiership with an impressive 40-7 win at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
The home side ran in six tries for the bonus-point win. Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk starred in the victory by scoring a try and playing a big role in a couple of others.
The thumping victory puts the Sharks two points ahead of the Bears, who have now suffered back-to-back defeats after a long winning run.
The hosts flew out of the blocks and a clinical opening half-hour from Steve Diamond’s side set the tone for a ruthless display from his experienced team.
Luke James, Denny Solomona and Faf de Klerk crossed for converted tries inside 20 minutes.
Sale wrapped up their bonus point just after the half-hour mark when Solomona capitalised on another Bristol handling error, slipping in Sam James for an easy try.
The Bears gave themselves a lifeline just before the break.
AJ MacGinty’s risky pass was cut out by Alapati Leiua and the Samoa centre sprinted clear for a try, with Tiff Eden slotting over the conversion.
However, any slim chance of an away comeback was quashed by a ruthless start to the second half from the home side.
De Klerk’s low pass inside the 22 caught out Bears’s defence and MacGinty fed James for his second try.
Marland Yarde scrambled over a sixth Sharks try on 53 minutes, with MacGinty kicking over his fifth conversion to take Diamond’s side up to the 40-point mark.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) August 29, 2020
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: L James 2, Solomona, De Klerk, S James, Yarde
Cons: MacGinty 5
For Bristol Bears:
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Ben Curry (captain), 6 Tom Curry, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Valerey Morozov, 18 Will-Griff John, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Arron Reed.
Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Siale Piutau (captain), 11 Jack Bates, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 James Dun, 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Ed Holmes, 3 Yann Thomas, 2 Will Capon, 1 Jake Woolmore.
Replacements: 16 George Kloska, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Kieron Assiratti, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Charlie Powell.
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest, Hamish Smales
TMO: Andrew Jackson