Sale 29-20 Pau: Sharks bounce back with bonus-point victory
Sale Sharks got their European Challenge Cup campaign back on track with a 29-20 bonus-point triumph against Pau on Saturday
The Sharks were narrowly ahead 14-13 at the break after tries from Brian Mujati and Mark Jennings with Joe Ford converting both scores
Daniel Ramsay’s try plus five points from Daubagna kept the French visitors within touching distance
Sam James and Jon Mills scored tries in the second half to secure the win and the bonus point for the hosts
A late try from replacement John Mills snatched a bonus-point victory for Sale Sharks in the European Challenge Cup against Pau in front of their own fans.
The Sharks crossed the try line four times to ensure their first victory in the competition this season while fly-half Joe Ford was accurate from the boot throughout.
The number 10 was making his first start of the season for the Premiership side in a new half-back pairing with Scotland scrum-half Chris Cusiter and impressed, especially with the boot.
Top 14 newcomers Pau were playing in their first game in Europe after their match against Castres was called off because of the Paris attacks.
A converted try from prop Brian Mujati gave Sale the perfect start but Pau then led 10-7 after Daniel Ramsay’s converted score followed a Thibault Daubagna penalty.
Sharks centre Mark Jennings crossed to ensure the hosts led at half-time and Joe Ford’s penalty made it 17-13.
Pau’s Quentin Lespiaucq-Brettes and Sale’s Sam James swapped tries before Jonathan Mills secured the win and the bonus point for the hosts.
Sale hung on for the final few seconds of the game to acquire their first win in the pool after they lost their opening fixture 30-12 to Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sale Sharks: Joe Ford
Fly-half Ford was clinical from the boot, missing only one kick in the game, which was important to help seal the victory in such a tight affair. He was calm with ball in hand and spread the play when needed to bring his back into play.
Sale: Haley; Brady, James, Jennings, Addison; Ford, Cusiter; Harrison, Taylor, Mujati, Evans, Ostrikov, Lund (capt), Ioane, Fihaki.
Replacements: Neild, Flynn, Parker, Mills, Beaumont, Mitchell, Jeffers, Edwards.
Pau: Malie; Bobo, Vatubua, Votu, Niko; Fernandez, Daubagna; King, Lespiaucq-Brettes, Natsarahvili, Dry, Ramsay, Bernad, Bouilhou (capt), Coughlan.
Replacements: Campo, Hurou, Moise, Domolailai, Butler, Marques, Ratuvou, Dupouy.