Sunday Mirror


45 Sale

- La Rochelle

SALE head coach Alex Sanderson pledged his team will recover from the disappoint­ment of this bad Champions Cup quarter-final loss.

A week after scoring six tries in a demolition of the Scarlets to reach the last eight for the first time in 15 years, Sale got hit for six themselves.

The Jono Gibbes and Ronan O’Gara-inspired La Rochelle side laid down their credential­s with a first-ever trip into the final four. Sanderson (left), whose team only trailed 18-16 at half-time said: “I thought we were at the races after an extremely competitiv­e first half in which we gave them some relatively soft tries.

“But we weren’t in the second half and we have to be better if we want to come to places like this in the future and win.

“We had parity in most of the collisions around the field, but it went wrong for us against their set-piece power. It is a learning curve for us. We will bounce back.”

Gibbes knows what it takes to go all the way from his time coaching at Leinster and O’Gara was a two-time winner in his Munster days.

Gibbes said: “We have passed a stern test and will use the energy to get up for the semi-final.”

La ROcHELLE: Tries: Alldritt, Leyds, Rhule 2, Doumayrou 2;

Pens: West (3); Con: West (3)

SaLE: Tries: S James, McGuigan;

Pens: MacGinty 3; Con: MacGinty

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