Sale Sharks got their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign off to a winning start on Thursday, defeating an out-of-form Biarritz side 33-10.
Sale Sharks got their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign off to a winning start on Thursday, defeating an out-of-form Biarritz 33-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
BO, who have lost seven of their opening eight matches in the Top 14, looked a shadow of their former selves as Dimitri Yachvili watched on.
Yachvili was not used off the bench as Biarritz are not taking this competition seriously, with their future in the French top flight seriously in doubt.
Sale did not show any sympathy as two penalty tries from a powerful set-piece that was led by man-of-the-match, prop Ross Harrison, laid the platform for a victory that rarely looked in doubt.
Russian second-row Andrei Ostrikov scored their other try as they fell one short of the bonus-point, despite a late period of sustained pressure.
Biarritz's only points came from prop Eugene van Staden's close-range try which went with Julien Peyrelongue's conversion and earlier penalty.
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Penalty 2, Ostrikov
Con: Ford 2, Cipriani
Pen: Ford 3
Try: Van Staden
In Thursday's other two fixtures, Stade Francais gave Lusitanos XV a tough welcome to the Amlin Challenge Cup competition as they eased past the Portuguese new-boys 61-3.
Andrea Cocagi, Nicolas Garrault, Julien Arias (2), JÃ©rÃ´me Porical (2), Anton van Zyl, Pierre Rabadan and Richard Kingi scored the home side's tries while Porical sent over twelve points from the tee, with Peter Lydon and Vincent Mallet adding a conversion apiece.
Elsewhere, Bayonne showed Pool Four rivals Wasps they will be a threat for qualification as they beat French league rivals Grenoble 37-6 with a bonus-point at Stade Jean-Dauger.
It had looked like the hosts would miss out on the full five points following tries from hooker GrÃ©gory Arganese, centre Sam Gerber and wing Matthieu Ugalde. However, a last-minute effort from replacement number eight Opeti Fonua handed them maximum points.