Sale remain on course to reach their second consecutive Powergen Cup final after a relatively straightforward win over Plymouth.
Sale 38 (18)
Tries: Hanley (2), Anglesea (2), Sheridan
Cons: Hercus (2)
Pens: Hercus (3)
Plymouth Albion 18 (13)
Tries: Robinson (2)
Pens: Pritchard (2)
Two tries each from Steve Hanley and Peter Anglesea and one from Andrew Sheridan proved too much for their lower-league opposition.
Plymouth produced a spirited display under the tutelage of former Bath forward Graham Dawe.
But they could not trouble a Sale side missing the likes of Jason Robinson and Charlie Hodgson, who were both rested.
The home side always had the upper hand, and went ahead after three minutes when Hanley ran in after holding on to a wayward long pass from Mike Hercus.
Plymouth proved they would not roll over easily when Lee Robinson touched down after a bright burst from Danny Thomas.
Sale's Mike Hercus and James Pritchard swapped kicks for the remainder of the half, with the Sharks going into the break 18-13 up.
Plymouth's bid to cut the deficit was not helped when prop Dan Parkes was sin-binned in the second half for stamping, and his team-mates duly paid the price.
In the resulting line-out Sebastien Chabal made the player difference count straight away as he paved the way for Sheridan to score.
From there, Sale piled on the pressure - Anglesea burrowed over from a short distance to score and Hanley added his second try.
Robinson added a second for Plymouth, but to no avail.
Plymouth director of rugby Graham Dawe felt his side had been beaten by the better team.
"It was a fair pace and we were caught napping by their drive play," he said.
"I hope they don't blank this game out of their memory and say they didn't deserve to lose by 20 points because they did and they have to accept that."
Sale head coach Philippe Saint-Andre said he was relieved to see his team emerge unscathed.
"We don't have any injuries and that was important because the games over December and January are massive for us.
"Bath is a big game, as is Newcastle and it was important to rest key men like Charlie Hodgson and Jason Robinson."
Sale: Cueto, Moore, Baxendell, Rhys Jones, Hanley, Hercus, Wigglesworth, Sheridan, Bruno, Halsall, Jones, Caillet, Anglesea, Carter, Chabal.
Replacements: Titterell, Stewart, Cox, Roddam, Martens, Duffy, Riley.
Plymouth Albion: Carrington, Robinson, Fabian, Arscott, Pritchard, Barnes, Cane, Parkes, Pearl, Hopkins, Hunt, Perry, Schusterman, Thomas, Ward-Smith.
Replacements: Luxton, Gelderbloom, Shelbourne, Lowrie, Dawe, Tooala, Paoletti.
Referee: R Poite (RFU).