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European round-up: Bath secure priceless win

European round-up: Bath secure priceless win

Rhys Priestland stole the show for Bath Rugby as he booted them to a priceless Champions Cup victory at Scarlets but Sale Sharks lost late on in Lyon on a mixed night for Aviva Premiership Rugby sides in Europe.

Bath are now sitting pretty in a tough Pool 5 while Sale are yet to win in the Challenge Cup this season.

Scarlets 13 Bath Rugby 18

The dreadful conditions in Llanelli were not conducive to fast, slick rugby but Bath showed they are a team for all seasons.

Scarlets, the Guinness PRO14 champions, hurried and hassled them throughout but frequent infringements cost them as Priestland booted six penalties.

In front of a watching Warren Gatland he was the star of the show and produced a 100 per cent kicking performance from the tee in the win.

The disappointment of not securing a bonus point against Benetton Treviso last week is now quickly forgotten with this win, which sends out a massive statement to the rest of Pool 5 – which also includes former champions Toulon.

“I thought the boys played really well and we played the conditions very well,” said director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

“I thought it was an outstanding team performance. Rhys is having an outstanding season, he looks really composed.

“What he can control is his performance and he’s performing really well. He’s grown this year. He’s been really different.

“I think the game plan really suits Rhys and he’s stepped up as a leader. He looks so much more comfortable and it’s really exciting to see a guy who’s played a lot of rugby – and at international level – still developing.

“He seems to be really enjoying his rugby.”

Lyon 27 Sale Sharks 24

Sale may be in pain this morning but they can hold their heads up high after a spirited and brave display against the Top 14 leaders.

A late penalty from wily old veteran Frederic Michalak was the final blow in a superb game of rugby, which saw the hosts come from behind late on.

Tries from Denny Solomon and Sam James gave the Sharks a comfortable advantage and when James crossed for his second after the break, victory look likely.

However, Lyon bounced back superbly and tries from Liam Gill and Theo Belan, following Delon Armitage’s earlier effort, levelled the scores – before Michalak settled it.

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