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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Sale 27-13 Munster
MATCH SUMMARY
Charlie Hodgson has a drop-goal attempt charged down by Munster's Ronan O'Gara
Sale 27 (9)
Tries: Martens, Robinson
Con: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson (5)
Munster 13 (10)
Try: Sheahan
Con: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara (2)
Sale got off to a winning start in the Heineken Cup with a hard-fought victory over European stalwarts Munster.

Seventeen points from the boot of England fly-half Charlie Hodgson and tries from Sililo Martens and Jason Robinson held off their opponents.

Munster led the match 13-9 thanks to some accurate kicking by Ronan O'Gara and a try from hooker Frankie Sheahan.

But the Sharks, who top the Guinness Premiership table, proved too resilient for Munster's pack in the second half.

Despite boasting world-class backs Robinson and Mark Cueto in their side, Sale's game plan was to take the game to Munster's notoriously tough forwards.

As a result, it was Hodgson and O'Gara, two other Lions players, who dominated play in the first half.

Hodgson was undoubtedly the better kicker with ball in hand and also landed three first-half penalties to O'Gara's solitary strike.

But Munster still led at the break courtesy of Sheahan, who touched down shortly after Sale's Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe was sin-binned.

We want to win this pool and are backing ourselves to win this pool
Sebastien Chabal
O'Gara added three points at the start of the second half, but that score proved to be Munster's last of the night.

Despite standing firm in the wake of some sustained pressure after losing Sheahan to the sin bin, they eventually capitulated following a mistake from Tomas O'Leary.

The scrum-half fumbled the ball after it emerged from a scrum, leaving the way clear for Martens to pounce on it for the try.

Hodgson added two points to effectively take the game away from a Munster side who never quite had the wherewithal to overturn the deficit.

And any hopes the visitors had of claiming a bonus point for finishing within seven points of the Sharks ended when Robinson chased down a massive boot upfield to touch down late on.


  • Sale's Sebastien Chabal:
    "It's a very difficult pool but at the start of the year we spoke about the quarter-finals.

    "We want to win this pool and are backing ourselves to win this pool.

    "This was our first game in the competition and we have showed other teams what we're capable of in this competition this year."

  • Munster captain Anthony Foley:
    "I don't think they really deserved a winning margin like that.

    "But fair play to Sale for the win - they took every opportunity and we just let ourselves down with a couple of silly mistakes.

    "It's frustrating because we'd worked so hard and then gave away two soft second-half tries."


    Sale: Robinson; Cueto, Taylor, Seveali'i, Hanley; Hodgson, Martens; Sheridan, Titterrell, Turner; Lobbe, Jones; White, Lund, Chabal.
    Replacements: Todd for Seveali'i (80), Larrechea for Hanley (63), Courrent for Martens (79), Bruno for Titterrell (47), Stewart for Turner (56), Schofield for Lobbe (63), Day for Jones (80).

    Sin Bin: Lobbe (33).

    Munster: Payne; Kelly, B. Murphy, Connolly, Pitout; O'Gara, O'Leary; Horan, Sheahan, Hayes; O'Callaghan, O'Driscoll; Quinlan, Leamy, Foley.
    Replacements: Stringer for O'Leary (73), Flannery for Sheahan (44), Pucciariello for Hayes (73), Hogan for Quinlan (47), Wallace for Leamy (73).
    Not Used: Manning, Henderson.

    Sin Bin: Sheahan (50).

    Att: 10,704

    Ref: Joel Jutge (France).


  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Interview: Sale head coach Kingsley Jones


    Interview: Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre



    SEE ALSO
    Sale Sharks 18-10 Wasps
    14 Oct 05 |  English
    Munster 33-9 Leinster
    09 Oct 05 |  Irish


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