Sale Sharks 20-22 Exeter Chiefs, AJ Bell Stadium
Exeter Chiefs maintained their winning streak in the ongoing Heineken Champions Cup as they edged out Premiership rivals Sale Sharks 20-22 at AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.
This is Exeter's third win from as many games as they occupy the pole position in Pool 2 while Sale Sharks are at third place after facing their second defeat.
Exeter conceded a penalty early in the game and Robert du Preez accepted in gracefully as he kicked a three-pointer to get Sale Sharks off the mark. Their momentum was hampered when Tom Curry was sin-binned for a foul play in the 14th minute and to make things worse for the hosts, a penalty try was awarded to the visitors.
Scotland international Stuart Hogg's made his presence felt as he collected his own kick to touchdown in the 15th minute. Joe Simmonds missed out on the conversion but kicked a penalty goal to make it 3-15.
Despite being down by a player, Sale Sharks showed great resilience and managed to get their opening try through Akker van der Merwe in the 21st minute after Bryn Evans laid the foundation.
Luke Cowan-Dickie took Exeter close to the bonus point with his side's third try in the 25th minute but Sale Sharks responded back five minutes later as the teams finished the first half with a 13-22 scoreline.
With both the teams failing to find any breakthrough in the second half, Exeter conceded too many penalties in the closing stage and as a result Ben Moon was sin-binned in the 69th minute. Sale with their numerical advantage had Jono Ross over the line in the 75th minute and Du Preez's conversion took the deficit to two points which they could not overcome.