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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May 2005, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Pau 3-27 Sale
Charlie Hodgson scored two tries in Sale's comprehensive win
Sale: (17) 27
Tries: Hodgson 2, Titterrell, Cueto
Cons: Hodgson 2
Pens: Hodgson
Pau: (3) 3
Pens: Beauxis
Sale produced a dominant display against Pau at the Kassam Stadium to lift the European Challenge Cup.

Sale's Lions contingent was to the fore as tries from Charlie Hodgson and Andy Titterrell helped them take a 17-3 lead at the break.

In the second half Mark Cueto and Hodgson crossed for further tries as the Sharks added the competition to their European Shield win in 2002.

Hodgson kicked seven points while Pau only managed a Lionel Beauxis penalty.

The Pau pack went into the match with a reputation as a tough unit but they were systematically dismantled in the scrum by a Sale eight which continues to improve.

Behind the pack Hodgson controlled the game impeccably and when they were given the ball the Sale backs were in a different class to their French opponents despite the greasy conditions.

Hodgson edged Sale in front with a penalty inside the first five minutes in teeming rain but missed a second chance after Lions prop Andrew Sheridan splintered the Pau front row.

Pau spurned the chance to hit back when fly-half Beauxis missed with a long-range penalty and within a couple of minutes Sale scored the opening try of the match.

Pau lost possession on their 22 as Sale put the pressure on and when the ball came out Hodgson knifed through the defence and skated over for a try which he converted from wide out.

Sale captain Jason Robinson is wrapped up by the Pau defence
Pau manage to get to grips with electric Sale captain Jason Robinson

That made the score 10-0 and Sale were good value for their lead after dominating possession and territory for the opening quarter of the match.

It took half an hour for Pau to make it as far as the Sharks' 22 but when they did Sale handled in a ruck and Beauxis slotted a simple penalty to get the French side on the board.

But the Sharks soon hit back with sparkling try to take a 17-3 lead at the break.

After quick ball off the top of a lineout Sale moved it wide and fine passing gave Cueto the chance to take on his man.

The Lions wing was held just short but another Lions tourist, Andy Titterrell, was in support for a fine first-phase try, which Hodgson, who is also heading to New Zealand, converted.

Hodgson missed a penalty early in the second half but created Sale's third try after 55 minutes when he ghosted through the Pau defence and fed Cueto, who stepped the full-back and powered over.

Hodgson then cruised over for Sale's fourth try and although the England fly-half missed both conversions Sale were long since home and dry.

As time ran down veteran Scotland scrum-half Bryan Redpath, who is set to retire, was taken off and given a rapturous reception by the 6,000 travelling Sale fans.

And he was able to sit back and enjoy the final few minutes as Sale crowned their season with some European silverware.

Pau: Souverbie; Dourthe, Cistacq, Cassin, Martin; Beauxis, Laussucq; Laperne, Terrain, Boiroux; Morgan, Albacete; Som, Tabacco, Manta.
Replacements: Sourgens, Tincu, Furet, Forgues, Cibray, Mercier, Peyras.

Sale: Robinson; Cueto, Baxendell, Todd, Foden; Hodgson, Redpath; Sheridan, Bruno, Turner; Schofield, Lobbe; Jones, Titterell, Chabal.
Replacements: Caillet, Stewart, Day, Anglesea, Martens, Hercus, Rhys Jones.

Referee: A Lewis (Ireland).

Report: BBC Five Live's Alistair Hignall

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