Montauban (10) 16
Try: Delasau Con: Rosalen Pens: Rosalen 2, Mitu
Sale (6) 12
Pens: Hodgson 4
Charlie Hodgson of Sale swoops as Vilimoni Delasau looms large
Sale's hopes of reaching the knockout stages were dealt a major blow as Montauban pulled off their first ever Heineken Cup win at the Stade Sapiac.
The French side led 10-6 at half-time, with Vilimoni Delasau scoring the only try of the match after 30 minutes.
Sale's Charlie Hodgson slotted four penalties, while Cedric Rosalen struck two penalties and a conversion for the hosts and Petre Mitu another penalty.
A losing bonus point means Sale have 11 points, two behind champions Munster.
Sale, who started the day top of Pool One, face Munster in their next game.
An early penalty apiece from Rosalen and Hodgson made it 3-3 before Delasau scored the only try of the match.
A Hodgson pass went to ground and Montauban prop Silviu Florea got his foot to the ball before Fiji wing Delasau kicked ahead as well and beat Mark Cueto to score.
Rosalen converted but a second Hodgson penalty reduced the arrears to 10-6 at the break.
Hodgson then paid the price for being over ambitious after taking a line-out throw to himself inside his own 22.
His pass to Tuilagi found the centre surrounded by opponents and after he conceded Rosalen gave the hosts a 13-6 advantage.
French dissent handed Hodgson a penalty after 51 minutes and that was followed by another four minutes later to bring the Sharks to within a point with half an hour to play.
But in windy and rainy conditions the game descended into a midfield stalemate and Mitu made the game safe for Montauban three minutes from time.
Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre:
"We are disappointed with the result but the conditions were extremely difficult with the wind and rain.
"I must congratulate Montauban. They defended extremely well and they took their opportunities when they got them.
"We always knew we would probably have to beat Munster and Clermont in the final two rounds of games and this result has not changed anything."
Montauban: Jonnet; Audrin, Viard, Avramovic, Delasau; Rosalen, Culinat; Balan, Mach, Florea, Rolland, Frost, Caballero, Raynaud, Battut.
Replacements: Cassin for Delasau (60), Lespinas for Rosalen (68), Shvelidze for Balan (46), Adams for Florea (64), Ghezal for Frost (70), Clarkin for Battut (43), Mitu.
Sale: M Tait; Cueto, Tuilagi, McAlister, Doherty; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; Sheridan, M Jones, Roberts, Chabal, Schofield, Abraham, Briggs, Fernandez Lobbe.
Replacements: Bell for M Tait (69), McLeod for Tuilagi (70), Faure for Sheridan (64), Cockbain for M. Jones (54), Turner for Roberts (51).
Not Used: D Tait, Peel.
Ref: Peter Allan (SRFU).