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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 21:03 GMT 22:03 UK
Sharks bitten by Bourgoin
Robinson suffered a knock as well
Robinson suffered a knock as well

Sale Sharks 18-24 Bourgoin

England and Lions full-back Jason Robinson was sin-binned for the first time in his professional rugby career as Sale Sharks began their debut Heineken Cup campaign with a home defeat.

The former rugby league star conceded a penalty try in the 47th minute for holding back William Bonet without the ball when the substitute prop looked certain to score.


We're not here to whinge about the result
Sale's Jim Mallinder

Welsh referee Nigel Williams did not hesitate to show him a yellow card and Robinson's evening was brought to a close when his 10 minutes in the bin were up, Vaughan Going coming on to replace him.

In normal circumstances Robinson would never have been beaten in a foot race by a front-row forward, but he picked up a knock in the 40th minute after a collision with flanker Sebastien Chabal.

It was a disappointing way for his evening to finish given his first half performance - he scored a blistering try, set up winger Steve Hanley and made a number of trademark defence-splitting runs.

But that was not the only disappointment at Heywood Road - how the Sharks managed to lose after dominating large periods of the game will be an issue coach Jim Mallinder will surely want to address.


Our pack was on top all game in the scrum
Bourgoin's Philippe Saint-Andre

They went close to rescuing the match in the dying moments when they laid siege to the Bourgoin line but the French side, who had defended resolutely all night, held firm.

Bourgoin are a useful side - they lie third in pool one of the French championship - but they gave an untypically French performance away from home, full of grit and determination.

After the match, Sale coach Jim Mallinder said he was considering making an official complaint to the match commissioner over the validity of the injuries to the Bourgoin props.

Mallinder said: "My interpretation of events at the end was that we had to play with uncontested scrums because they didn't have anyone left who could prop.

"We then had three scrums on their line and another two in open play.

"It's an interesting situation that needs addressing.

"We're not here to whinge about the result - the match was always going to be decided by a couple of very close calls - but when you need a converted try to win the game it limits your options when you can't scrum five metres out."


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