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Sale 26-17 Clermont Auvergne

Sale (13) 26
Tries: Ripol, Peel, D. Tait Cons: McAlister Pen: McAlister 3

Clermont Auvergne (17) 17
Tries: Combezou, Vonowale-Nalaga Cons: Bai 2 Pen: Bai

Mark Cueto
England winger Mark Cueto captained Sale to victory

Sale secured a consolation win at Edgeley Park and ended Clermont Auvergne's outside hopes of qualifying for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The Sharks took the lead through an Oriol Ripol try before the visitors hit back with tries from Thomas Combezou and Napolini Vonowale Nalaga.

Dwayne Peel sent a timely message to Wales' selectors with a classic scrum-half's try as Sale regained the lead.

And David Tait went over in the corner as Sale finished second in Pool One.

The French side could have made it through to the last eight with a bonus-point win, and they at least gave themselves a chance with a bright first half.

After Spanish winger Ripol went over in the left-hand corner to give Sale an early lead, Anthony Floch made a coruscating break from his own 22 before teeing up Combezou to score with a cross-field grubber kick.

Five minutes later Floch, who had a magnificent first half, played a clever kick in behind Sale's defence and Nalaga did well to pick up and score the visitors' second try.

Sale stand-off Luke McAlister reduced the deficit to four points just before the break with a three-pointer.

And Peel, overlooked for Wales' Six Nations squad, picked up from the base of the scrum and raced in to score from nearly halfway to give Sale the lead with 15 minutes remaining.

David Tait made sure the Sharks finished above Clermont with a late try, but Sales' hopes of progressing effectively went up in smoke with defeat in Montauban in December.

Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre:
"Dwayne [Peel] was very low at the beginning of the week but he knows that the best way to respond was to show them today.

"He played very well. He was very good in defence and did a lot of work. He scored a good try and showed that he could have done a job for the Six Nations.

"But I will have Richard Wigglesworth and Dwayne Peel next week so, in a selfish way, it is not too bad."

Sale: McLeod, Cueto, M. Tait, Thomas, Ripol, McAlister, Peel, Sheridan, Bruno, Turner, C. Jones, Cockbain, Fearns, Abraham, D. Tait.
Replacements: Wigglesworth for M. Tait (54), Keil for Thomas (68), Kuadey for Ripol (75), M. Jones for Bruno (45), O'Donnell for Turner (57), Cox for Cockbain (76).

Not Used: Hills.

Clermont Auvergne: Floch, Esterhuizen, Combezou, Garcia, Vonowale-Nalaga, Bai, Senio, Debaty, Lozupone, Zirakashvili, Samson, Privat, Cudmore, Audebert, Etien.
Replacements: Mignardi for Garcia (67), Radoslavjevic for Senio (54), Scelzo for Debaty (64), Davison for Zirakashvili (64).

Not Used: Jacquet, Lapandry, Fofana.

Sin Bin: Privat (29), Combezou (57).

Att: 7,466

Ref: Peter Allan (SRFU).

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see also
Heineken Cup 2008/9
17 Jul 08 |  Rugby Union

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