Sale made to suffer by Marlu

Biarritz 31 Sale 3
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The Independent Online

Sale were brought back down to earth with a bump as they failed to breach the Biarritz try-line in a one-sided affair at Parc des Sports Aguilera on Saturday.

Sale crossed the Channel in a buoyant mood after last weekend's narrow win over the Cardiff Blues, but any hopes of Biarritz conceding like they did to Leinster in the first round quickly vanished.

Biarritz helped themselves to four tries and a bonus point to get their Cup campaign back on track.

The former France winger Jimmy Marlu stunned Sale with a try after only 46 seconds, and with Dimitri Yachvili successfully converting, the visitors were 7-0 down before their coach, Jim Mallinder, had found his seat.

The man-of-the-match, the lock Ovidiu Tonita, scored for the home side in the 26th minute before the Sharks finally troubled the scorers with a Braam van Straaten penalty goal, to take the score to 14-3 at half-time.

Yachvili added a penalty in the 46th minute, and the Sharks' slim hopes disappeared when the Biarritz full-back, Nicolas Brusque, scored on the hour, before Marlu's second try earned the home side a bonus point.

Sale now face a home-and-away series against Leinster and will need to pick their game up if they hope to get anything out of those two matches.

Biarritz: Tries Marlu 2, Brusque, Tonita. Conversions Yachvili 4. Penalty Yachvili. Sale: Penalty Van Straaten.

Biarritz: N Brusque (capt); P Bidabé, G Bousses, M Stcherbina (M Gaitan, 67), J Marlu (J-B Gobelet, 79); J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili; E Menieu, P Balan (D Minassian, 58), D Avril (M Fitzgerald, 68), D Couzinet, J Thion, O Tonita, D Chouchan, M Baget.

Sale: V Going (C Mayor, 61); M Cueto (J Hoyle, 79), B van Straaten (J Baxendell, 58), G Bond, J Robinson (capt); C Hodgson, N Walshe (R Wigglesworth, 79); A Sheridan, M Cairns (A Titterrell, 61), B Stewart (S Turner, 69), D Schofield, I Fullarton, J White, Chris Jones (M Cairns, 71), A Sanderson.

Referee: D Courtney (Ireland).