Match Report: Sale 5-15 Toulon – Victory for sluggish Toulon

  • Toulon romp to 15-5 triumph against Sale in the Champions Cup on Friday night
  • Tries from Charles Ollivon and Leigh Halfpenny gave the French side a 15-5 lead at the break
  • The three-times champions then held on for victory despite excessive Sale pressure in the second half
French heavyweights Toulon bounced back from their defeat to Saracens last weekend as they dealt Sale Shark’s Champions Cup Pool Three qualification hopes a major setback at the AJ Bell Stadium.

A minute’s silence was flawlessly observed before kick-off in memory of Munster head coach Anthony Foley, who died suddenly last Sunday in Paris, with players, which included his close friend Peter Stringer and supporters at the AJ Bell Stadium paying tribute to the 42-year-old.

Sale, who were looking to rebound after their defeat away to Scarlets last weekend, lost Magnus Lund after the flanker was given a questionable yellow card for a late, no armed tackle.

Tries for Toulon quickly followed with flanker Charles Ollivon and fullback Leigh Halfpenny crossing for the three-time European Champions, which added to the boot of the Wales international gave the away side a 15-0 after just 12 minutes.

The hosts though steadied the ship and back up to their full compliment were able to take advantage of the visitor’s indiscipline to reduce the deficit as Paolo Odogwu showed great pace to run over a five-pointer after 32 minutes. Will Addison was off target with the attempted conversion, and that left the home side 15-5 behind at half-time.

With neither team scoring a point in the second-half, Toulon left he AJ Bell Stadium with four points, but without the key try-scoring bonus point that could prove crucial later in the group stages.

For Sale, their dreams of qualification are all but over. after two straight defeats. Steve Diamond’s men put in a spirited performance, but came away from the game with nothing to show for it.

LINE UPS

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Will Addison, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 Sam James, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Josh Beaumont (c), 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Jonathan Mills, 19 David Seymour, 20 Tom Curry, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Dan Mugford, 23 Sam Bedlow
Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 James O’Connor, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Francois Trinh Duc, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 7 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Charles Ollivon, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Xavier Chiocci
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Laurent Delboulbès, 18 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Matt Carraro, 21 Pierre Bernard, 22 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Jocelino Suta

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