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Super Stade stun Sale

Monday 9th October 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 09/10/2006 11:56

- 09/10/2006 11:56

If ever their was a mouth-watering contest, if ever there was a match up to signify the significance of Heineken Cup rugby –  then this is it.

Stade Francais Paris, the elegant, sophisticated French heavyweights versus Sale Sharks – champions of the English Premiership – powerful, hard hitting, pacy behind.

This is the sort of match that defines European rugby. A clash of two of the world’s best teams. A match to rival an international.

The match will be played at France’s showpiece stadium – Parc des Princes – and resembles a European final in everything but name.

Stade currently lead the way in the Pool, with the Sharks snapping at their heels for top spot in the pool. This match will be huge, and with the rematch just a week later – who knows what could happen here.

Sale Director of Rugby Philippe Saint Andre said, ” We qualified for the EDF Semi Finals last weekend and the mood amongst the players is good. Stade Francais will prove a tough test for us and we have to play them at Edgeley Park next weekend so the next two games are crucial to our hopes of progressing to the quarter finals.


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Super Stade stun Sale

Monday 9th October 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 09/10/2006 11:56

- 09/10/2006 11:56

Sale’s hopes of a Heineken Cup quarter-final spot virtually disappeared against Stade Francais at Stade Jean-Bouin in round 3.

The French side ran in three first-half tries to take a stranglehold of the game, but a brave Sharks side dug deep in the second spell to ensure Stade didn’t run away with the result. A Sebastien Chabal intercept try narrowed the margin to 20-16, but Sale ran out of steam in the final 10 minutes.

The match was played in front of 45,000 fans – the biggest-ever crowd for a Heineken Cup pool match.

The injury-stricken Sharks kept the home side at bay in the early exchanges and were the first side to trouble the scorers, fly-half Daniel Larrechea slotting a 15th-minute penalty goal, but their lead lasted barely 30 seconds as winger Christophe Dominici danced down the touchline to score.

Fellow winger Julien Soubade kept the crowd on their feet with a dazzling individual try as Stade began to take control of the match, and things went from bad to worse for Sale when Test winger Mark Cueto limped off the field.

Sharks centre Lee Thomas took over the goal-kicking duties after Larrechea was battered in a heavy tackle, and promptly slotted a long-range penalty to double the visitors’ score.

Dominici scored in the same corner as his first effort to stretch the lead, and Stade Francais took a deserved 17-6 lead into the halftime break.

Thomas’ second goal narrowed the margin to eight points midway through the second half, but Stade replacement Lionel Beauxis slotted a superb long-range effort to keep the Sharks at bay.

Stade Francais threw everything at the Sharks’ line to get a bonus-point try, but it backfired disastrously when No 8 Chabal grabbed an intercept and raced 50 metres to score under the posts.

But just as Sale looked to have secured a hugely deserved bonus point – if not a shock victory – Soubade came up with an interception of his own to put the result beyond doubt.

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