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Sale cruise to win over Spanish champions

19 Nov 2011
Sale cruise to win over Spanish champions

Sale Sharks bounced back from the disappointment of defeat in their opening Amlin Challenge Cup game with a resounding victory over Spanish champions CR La Vila.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby side recorded nine tries with Samoan centre Jonny Leota scoring a hat-trick of them in a 59-6 win at Edgeley Park to put their European campaign back on track after the loss in Brive last weekend.

Sale executive director of sport Steve Diamond pulled off a surprise when he named Andy Powell as captain for this game but the Wales number eight scored his side's second try and proved instrumental in the victory.

The home team secured a vital bonus point when Leota scored the first of his treble after half-time, with Sale's other tries coming from Andrew Higgins, Luther Burrell, Cillian Willis, Richie Vernon and a penalty try n front of a home crowd of 4,190.

The part-timers from Spain were constantly under pressure during a one-sided contest and they were repeatedly penalised, although they did manage two first-half penalties from Nick McCashin to go into the break 19-6 behind.

Italian referee Alan Falzone tired of the Spanish side's infringements though and the visitors played for 20 minutes with 14 men when yellow cards were shown to McCashin and his half-back partner Hernan Quirelli in the first and second half respectively.

Sale, tournament winners in 2002 and 2005, now face French side Agen in back-to-back Pool games which will go a long way towards determining whether they qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.

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