Sale Sharks ease past Perpignan to secure home quarter-final

Chris Ashton scored the opening try for Sale Sharks
Chris Ashton scored the opening try for Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks 39-10 Perpignan, AJ Bell Stadium

Sale Sharks came up with a five-try performance as they sealed a home quarter-final in the ongoing European Rugby Challenge Cup after they went on to beat Perpignan 39-10 at AJ Bell Stadium.

Steve Diamond's men finished the group stage at the top with 22 points - superior to second placed Connacht by point difference - and now will take on the Irish side in the quarter-final.

The French side opened the account in just four minutes after the kick-off when Jean Bernard Pujol crossed over for an unconverted try but Sale Sharks responded back in the ninth minute when a kick from Kieran Wilkinson found Chris Ashton as he touched down and Faf de Klerk's conversion gave the Premiership side a two points lead.

By the 16th minute it was the turn of winger Arron Reed to go over the line and de Klerk missed out on the conversion but made amends with a penalty kick at the stroke of half-time as the teams went into the break with a 15-5 scoreline.

The home side extended their momentum after the break when Jono Ross touched down under the post in the 48th minute and de Klerk improved it to make it 22-5 and their momentum took a shot when the visitors lost Masalosalo Tutaia to sin-bin in the 54th minute.

Further tries from Kieran Wilkinson (59') and Tom Bristow (69') ensured a vital try bonus to Sale Sharks as they amassed 39 points before Bernard Pujol scored his second in the game for Perpignan at the closing stage.


2018-19 European Rugby Challenge Cup Points Table