Sale 15-16 Edinburgh: Visitors grind to 'must-win' victory

Denny Solomona scored his first try of the season
Denny Solomona scored his first try of the season but it was not enough for Sale
European Champions Cup
Sale (12) 15
Tries: Solomona, Van Rensburg Cons: R Du Preez Pen: Du Preez
Edinburgh (0) 16
Tries: Bennett Cons: Van der Walt Pens: Van der Walt 3

Edinburgh produced a second-half recovery to grind out a narrow victory over Sale Sharks and get off the mark in Champions Cup Pool A.

Denny Solomona and Rohan Janse van Rensburg's tries gave Sale a 12-0 lead.

But Mark Bennett crossed after the break to begin Edinburgh's comeback and two Jaco van der Walt penalties put the visitors in front at AJ Bell Stadium.

Rob du Preez responded with a penalty for Sale but a yellow card for Jean-Luc du Preez ended up costing the hosts.

The number eight's indiscipline allowed Van der Walt another shot at goal and he converted to edge the Pro14 side to victory.

Both teams lost their opening games in the tournament last week, but the win moves Edinburgh to five points and leaves them with a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Edinburgh fight back in 'must-win' fixture

A clinical first-half display looked to have put Sale in control as Solomona darted in at the corner following a quick line-out on the opposite wing.

Van Rensburg then beat Edinburgh centre Bennett to breach the defensive line and accelerate into the space left behind to add Sale's second after 20 minutes.

Another swift break threatened to open up the Scottish outfit once more but Van Rensburg failed to use runners outside him and Edinburgh recovered.

The visitors' chances to score were limited after Van der Walt missed an early penalty, but they ground Sale down in the second half and Bennett nipped over from close range.

Van de Walt kicked a penalty to reduce Sale's lead to two points, and four minutes later edged the visitors in front with the boot.

With further Edinburgh pressure building, Sale broke and Van Rensburg sped over from 60 metres - only to find his effort ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

From there, the momentum looked to be swinging the hosts' way once more as Rob du Preez put them back ahead with a penalty from 47 metres.

But his younger brother Jean-Luc du Preez was sin-binned for a shoulder to the head and it allowed Van der Walt to re-establish Edinburgh's lead, and this time they held on.

"It was positive at half-time, we knew we had defended well and a slight slip up let them into the game," said Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson.

"We knew if we could get the ball and keep hold of it, we would get opportunities. It was a must-win, so we re really pleased with that result."


Sale: S James; Solomona, J.V Rensburg, S Hill, Yarde; R du Preez, De Klerk (c); Rodd, Van der Merwe, Cooper-Woolley, Postlethwaite, J.P du Preez, Wiese, Dugdale, J-L du Preez.

Replacements: Langdon, Harrison, Oosthuizen, Phillips, Neild, Cliff, Doherty, L James.

Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Blain, Bennett, Dean, Van der Merwe, Van der Walt, Shiel, Sutherland, McInally, Berghan, Toolis, Hodgson, Bradbury, Watson, Mata.

Replacements: Cherry, Schoeman, Nel, Ferreira, Crosbie, Groom, Chamberlain, Johnstone

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