Champions Cup: Edinburgh fight back to edge out Sale Sharks
Edinburgh trailed 12-0 at half time, but Mark Bennett's try and the kicking of Jaco van Der Walt saw them snatch the win. Sale's tries came from Denny Solomona and Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, but they also had Jean-Luc du Preez sin-binned
Last Updated: 19/12/20 11:01pm
Edinburgh kept their Champions Cup hopes alive as they fought back from 12 points down at half-time to defeat Sale Sharks 16-15 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Denny Solomona's try, converted by Rob Du Preez, put Sale ahead and a further try from Rohan Janse van Rensburg took them into a 12-0 lead at half-time.
But the Scottish side rallied after the interval, with Mark Bennett powering through for a try and the kicking of Jaco van der Walt seeing them edge out the hosts in a nail-biting finale which also saw the Sharks finish a man down following Jean-Luc du Preez's yellow card.
An early scrum penalty offered Van der Walt the opportunity to kick Edinburgh ahead, but his effort was wide of the mark.
Instead, it was the home side who took the lead in the 13th minute with a lightning attack from a quickly taken line-out which saw Sam James send winger Solomona jinking through the defence to dot down followed by Du Preez adding the extras.
Seven minutes later, the Sharks were in again as they exploited Edinburgh's over-eagerness in defence with Sam Hill feeding Van Rensburg for the outside centre to charge through a gap from 30 metres out for an unconverted score.
Edinburgh pulled themselves back into the contest 12 minutes after the break though, building a sustained spell of pressure which was rewarded when Bennett burst through from close range for a try converted by Van der Walt.
Then two penalties in quick succession from Scotland international Van der Walt then edged the visitors ahead with 58 minutes gone and the Sharks had a second try from Van Rensburg chalked off due to a forward pass by Cobus Wiese in the build-up.
Fly-half Du Preez landed a long-range penalty to temporarily restore Sale's lead, but with 10 minutes left the hosts were reduced to 14 men when No. 8 Du Preez was sent to the sin-bin for contact with the head of Hamish Watson at a ruck after referee Romain Poite opted for just a yellow card following a lengthy consultation with the TMO.
Van der Walt slotted over his third penalty of the night after that to put Edinburgh's noses in front and that set up a tense finish, with the visitors somehow keeping play going for 22 phases before the ball was kicked to touch as the clock went red.
The result keeps Edinburgh in with a chance of qualifying from Pool A, but Sale's hopes are all but over after suffering two defeats in their first two Champions Cup matches of the season.