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Sale in Anglo-Welsh blockbuster at Cardiff

Thursday 30th March 2023

5:00 pm (GMT)

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Sale in Anglo-Welsh blockbuster at Cardiff

Tom Curry scored Sale's opening try against Ulster in Round 1

Sale Sharks head to Cardiff Rugby for a heavyweight Anglo-Welsh EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 contest on Saturday.

The two sides are both two-time winners of the competition and their respective squads feature an array of England and Wales internationals.

Cardiff were the top try-scorers as they won three games from four in the EPCR Challenge Cup pool stage, crossing 23 times to come third in Pool A, a 37-24 loss at CA Brive in Round 4 the only blemish on their record.

Sale dropped into the EPCR Challenge Cup after they suffered three straight defeats in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage following a promising Round 1 thrashing of Ulster Rugby (39-0).

The encounter at Cardiff Arms Park gets underway at 20:00 (UK & Irish time) and is live on S4C, BT Sport, beIN SPORTS and FloRugby.

Key quote

Cardiff Rugby director of rugby Dai Young: “Most of the money will be riding on Sale, and we’re aware of that but it doesn’t really matter come kick off time. They don’t hide the way they want to play. They’re full of size, power and physicality up front and you’re going to have to match them on the gain line.”

Cardiff Rugby

  • James Ratti crossed the gain line nine times in Round 4 – as many as any other player. His gain-line success rate against CA Brive was 81.8%.
  • A round-high total of three of Rhys Preistland’s 10 kicks in play in Cardiff’s last EPCR Challenge Cup fixture were retained. Preistland is also the leading points-scorer in the competition (41) and has the best success rate off the tee of any player who has attempted more than three kicks at goal (94%).
  • Cardiff have scored more tries than any other team (23). 12 of these have started with a lineout, four with a turnover.

Sale Sharks

  • Jonny Hill conceded eight penalties in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage – as many as any other player.
  • Bevan Rodd won more turnovers than any other prop (eight) in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage.
  • Gus Warr was the only player in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage to kick two 50/22s.

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Cardiff edge Sale in Round of 16 cracker

Saturday 1st April 2023

10:10 pm (GMT)

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Cardiff edge Sale in Round of 16 cracker

Cardiff wing Josh Adams scored two tries against Sale

Cardiff reached the EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-finals in dramatic fashion as they edged Sale Sharks 28-27 in a thrilling contest at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday night.

The Welsh region will travel to Treviso to play Benetton Rugby next Saturday after the Italian side beat Connacht Rugby earlier in the day.

The two sides were evenly matched over the opening half an hour, with Cardiff fly-half Jarrod Evans giving his side the lead from the tee before hooker Akker van der Merwe hit back with a try for Sale, converted by George Ford, who would end with a match haul of 12 points.

Fly-half Ford extended Sale’s lead with a long-range penalty on 29 minutes, but Cardiff, aided by their dominant scrum, took control of the contest as they crossed for three unanswered tries.

Prop Corey Domachowski powered over before wing Josh Adams finished off two brilliantly-worked scores, Sale prop Nick Schoner heading to the sin bin for a scrum infringement moments prior to the latter effort on the stroke of half-time.

Full-back Rhys Priestland extended Cardiff’s advantage with a penalty shortly after the break as their scrum dominance continued, but Sale would string together their best move of the game to send wing Thomas Roebuck over on 51 minutes.

And Sale would continue to chip away at Cardiff’s lead with two Ford penalties, and when replacement hooker Ewan Ashman burrowed over from close range, the England international’s conversion put the visitors in front.

But Evans was on hand to slot a 71st minute penalty as Cardiff rallied, and roared on by a boisterous home crowd, they clung on for a brilliant victory.

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