Heineken Champions Cup: Scarlets 14-57 Sale

The South African scrum half Faf de Klerk controlled the game for sale

Scarlet (0) 14
Tries: Owens, Morgan Disadvantage: Halfpenny 2
Sale (23) 57
Tries: A van der Merwe 2, MacGinty, Yarde, Beaumont, Quirke Disadvantage: MacGinty 6 Pencils: MacGinty 5

Sale booked a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final trip against La Rochelle with an overwhelming win against a sad scarlet side.

Two attempts by Nutte Akker van der Merwe and AJ MacGintys Schuh built up a 23-point lead in the first half.

MacGinty scored one attempt in the second half to finish with a record of 32 points, with further attempts from Marland Yarde, Josh Beaumont and Raffi Quirke.

Scarlets could only respond with attempts by Ken Owens and Jac Morgan.

Sale booked his first Champions Cup quarter-finals since 2006 – when the tournament was known only as the Heineken Cup – when they worked with Exeter to ensure there were two English teams in the last eight games.

The Irish province of Leinster and five French club teams – La Rochelle, Toulouse, Clermont, Racing 92 and Bordeaux Begles – complete the line-up next weekend.

La Rochelle v Selling sharks
Clermont Auvergne versus Toulouse
Bordeaux-Begles versus Racing 92
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster
All kick-off times and dates must be confirmed

Sale is well placed in third place in the Premiership, but had qualified for the Champions Cup despite missing a game, although he had not won a game, with pool defeats against Toulon and Edinburgh.

South African World Cup winner Faf de Klerk and English flanker Tom Curry were instrumental in the win, which was achieved without missing Springbok’s second row Lood de Jager.

The Scarlet defeat ended a disastrous weekend for the four Welsh regions and neither team reached the quarter-finals of either of the two European tournaments.

Dragons, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys lost in the European Challenge Cup with the quartet of defeats against English clubs.

The other Welsh losses had been close affairs. This was far from when the scarlet were humiliated and humiliated on their soil and the Welsh side lost the physical battles and the breakdown battles convincingly.

The drubbing took place even though Scarlets had Wales’ six nation-winning players – Owens, Johnny Williams, Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Gareth Davies, Wyn Jones and Jake Ball – back on the home page.

Sale's Tom Curry is tackled by Liam Williams of ScarletsSale’s Tom Curry, tackled here by Liam Williams of Scarlets, was a huge impact on the crowd

Scarlets started off with a stuttering start thanks to a kick-off from Sione Kalamafoni and a scrum penalty received from Wyn Jones that allowed MacGinty to open the scoring.

The line-out of the scarlet no longer worked. The throw went over the top and the sale whore Van der Merwe shot through an attempted attack by Gareth Davies and dived over. MacGinty converted before scoring a second penalty.

Sale was denied a second attempt after center Rohan Janse van Rensburg failed to ground the ball, but it only delayed the inevitable when Van der Merwe was run over for his second.

Stunned Scarlets lost Welsh center Johnny Williams to a shoulder injury despite being replaced by British and Irish Lion Jonathan Davies.

MacGinty’s third penalty extended the lead as Sale continued to outperform and almost harass his opponents and take a 23-0 lead.

The Scarlet’s nightmare continued after the break when a loose pass from Dan Jones was used by opposing number MacGinty, who dribbled for goal.

Scarlets eventually responded with an Owens attempt from a line-out with halfpenny conversion, which only temporarily stopped the sale procession.

The English Yarde wing flipped over after a smooth movement before the mercury MacGinty pitched Captain Beaumont for the fifth attempt. MacGinty converted before exceeding two penalties.

Flanker Morgan scored a late consolation Scarlet’s score before 19-year-old Sale scrum half Quirke sprinted for the Sharks for his first try.

Fittingly, MacGinty converted to complete a perfect record of 11 successful kicks.

Scarlet: Halfpenny; L. Williams, Hughes, J. Williams, McNicholl; D Jones, G Davies; W. Jones, Owens (Capt.), Scholtz, Ball, Lousi, Shingler, J. Morgan, Kalamafoni.

Replacement: Elias, S. Thomas, Sebastian, Rawlins, Thomson, Blacker, Costelow, J. Davies.

Sale: Hammersley; McGuigan, S. James, Janse van Rensburg, Yarde; AJ MacGinty, the clerk; Rodd, Van der Merwe, John, Wiese, Beaumont (Capt.), JL du Preez, T. Curry, D du Preez.

Replacement: Langdon, Harrison, Oosthuizen, Phillips, Neild, Quirke, R du Preez, L. James.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Assistants: Dan Jones (Wales), Mike English (Wales).

TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France).

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