Faf seals Sharks win
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: A late Francois de Klerk penalty gave Sale Sharks a 30-29 victory over Harlequins in a pulsating clash at the AJ Bell stadium.
The hosts made a superb start to the contest and after just seven minutes, Byron McGuigan was able to thunder his way over the whitewash after a neat Sharks move.
And three minutes later the hosts had their second try as they turned over Harlequins before Will Addison and Ben Curry linked up well to find Janse Van Rensburg who extended Sale's lead.
But the visitors rallied in emphatic fashion and after a driving maul, Alofa Alofa was able to go over from close range to reduce the deficit.
An AJ MacGinty penalty extended Sale's advantage but two tries in the space of seven minutes flipped the game on its head.
Charlie Walker was first to Mat Luamanu's long boot as he turned on the afterburners to dot down before Alofa danced through the Sale defence and popped the ball to Ross Chisholm to complete the turnaround.
Sale was stunned having dominated the opening 20 minutes and they could find no way past a resilient Harlequins defence in the opening exchanges of the second half.
But a red card to Harlequins' Joe Marler with 20 minutes to go opened the door for Steve Diamond's side and another MacGinty penalty brought Sale back to within three points.
Despite high pressure from the Sharks, it was Harlequins who secured their bonus point try as Jamie Roberts pierced through the Sale defence to extend the visitors advantage.
Sale wasn't done yet and after sustained pressure, Van Rensburg was able to find space and dart his way through to help bring Sharks back into the tie.
And with just five minutes remaining, De Klerk's penalty ultimately made the difference as Sale denied Harlequins a first away league victory since September.
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: McGuigan, Janse van Rensburg 2
Cons: MacGinty 2, De Klerk
Pens: MacGinty 2, De Klerk
Tries: Alofa, Walker, Chisholm, Roberts
Cons: Smith 3
Red card: Joe Marler (Harlequins, 57)
Sale Sharks: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Ben Curry, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Will John, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 George Nott, 20 Thomas Ioane, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Mike Haley, 23 Will Addison
Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward (captain), 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 James Lang, 23 Henry Cheeseman
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Matthew O'Grady and Tim Wigglesworth.
TMO: Keith Lewis