The Sale Sharks defeated Connacht 20-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium to book their place in the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup.
Sale, captained by flank Jono Ross and featuring Bok duo Rohan Janse van Rensburg at inside centre and Faf de Klerk at scrumhalf, with Josh Strauss on the bench, were too powerful for a weakened Connacht side. De Klerk was named Man of the Match.
The Sharks will next face the winner of the quarter-final clash between Bristol and La Rochelle.
Jack Carty put Connacht in the lead with a penalty kick, but Sale hit the front with two converted tries scored by AJ MacGinty and Denny Solomona. That put Connacht off their game a little as they proceeded to concede several penalties. MacGinty lined up two successful shots at goal to put Sale in a commanding position at 20-3 going into the break.
Connacht upped the intensity in the second half, but Sale’s defence held firm. It was only in the last 10 minutes, after the hosts had been reduced to 14 men, when Connacht had a breakthrough, with Australian Kyle Godwin finding a way through the defensive line to score for the visitors.