Scarlets 14-57 Sale: Sharks send warning to La Rochelle galacticos … after sailing to victory to make their first European Cup quarter-final since 2006
- AJ MacGinty scored a Champions Cup club record with 32 points in Sale’s win
- The American fly-half kicked 11 of 11 off the tee and one of Sale’s six tries
- Akke van der Merwe scored two tries and caused problems during the game
- Marland Yarde, Josh Beaumont and Raffi Quirke added the other tries for Sale
West Wales was shark-infested territory when Sale cut the Scarlets to make their first European Cup quarter-final since 2006.
American fly-half AJ MacGinty scored a Champions Cup club record 32 points, kicked 11 of 11 off the tee and scored one of six Sale tries. His haul broke Charlie Hodgson’s individual sales record for a European Cup match in 2006.
Hooker Akker van der Merwe was a brute and scored twice. Marland Yarde, Josh Beaumont and Raffi Quirke added the others as Ken Owens and Jac Morgan answered.
Akker van der Merwe dominated for Sale who entered the quarter finals of the European Cup
Shark Wing Marland Yarde celebrates his side’s fourth attempt with the impressive AJ MacGinty
Sale made the last 16 on what rugby director Alex Sanderson described as a ‘golden ticket’ for not winning any of their pool matches – but after the league was restructured due to the chaos of Covid, there are now two wins from a continental final with a trip to La Rochelle next.
“They are a party that takes pride in that physicality and defense,” Sanderson said.
Then you’re dealing with some of their brilliant ball carriers and galactico stars. I am very excited about that prospect.
‘The intention is that we go for this. It takes a huge effort to win it and you need a little luck. ‘
About the game, he added, “I didn’t think it would be like that, but I’m glad it was. It was a case where we got them a little cold and we were red hot.
AJ MacGinty scored a club record of 32 points in the Champions Cup with their victory
“We’ve been a little under the radar, Sale, for the past 15 years I’d say. I just told the guys that a bad thing about that performance is that we just advertised in La Rochelle that we’re coming for them. ‘
With a mix of northern grit and South African beef, the Sharks took apart Scarlets with such ease. By the end they played with them.
This is now the furthest sell-off in Europe’s top league, having lost 11-6 to Biarritz in the quarter-finals 15 years ago – the year they last won the Premier League title.