Sale Sharks qualified for the European Challenge Cup semi-finals with a 20-10 victory over Connacht on Friday.
AJ MacGinty kicked 10 points for the two-time champions against his former club, as Steve Diamond’s men moved within a match of the final in Newcastle.
A Jack Carty penalty got Connacht off the mark before tries from Byron McGuigan and Denny Solomona, as well as the boot of MacGinty, propelled Sale into a 20-3 half-time lead.
The home side could not add to their tally after the interval but a converted Kyle Godwin try was as much as the Irish province could muster in response.
Connacht failed to take advantage when a no-arms tackle earned Sale back-row forward James Phillips a sin-binning midway through the second half.
Sale await the outcome of Sunday’s clash between La Rochelle and Bristol Bears to discover who lies between them and a place in the final.
Steve Diamond: “We were fairly good in the first half and it was an even game in the second half. It was a hard game of rugby but pushing top four in the league and in a semi-final; we would have taken that in August.”@SaleSharksRugby DOR is a happy man! #ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/4ESOBjLzfv
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) March 29, 2019
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