Just two points separate Stade Français Paris, the Ospreys and Sale Sharks at the top of Pool 3…

Just two points separate Stade Français Paris, the Ospreys and Sale Sharks at the top of Pool 3 – and, although Sale are the team those two points adrift, this is one that is going to go all the way to the wire for automatic qualification as group winners along with a possible best runners-up spot.
The French club have home advantage over Rugby Calvisano and the Ospreys have to travel to Edgeley Park to face a Sharks team who took maximum points from their trip to Italy at the weekend while their Pool rivals were fighting out a thrilling 22-22 draw at the Liberty Stadium.
“There is still everything to play for – it’s a very big game,” said Sale Sharks coach Kingsley Jones on the English champions’ final Pool assignment against the Ospreys.
The Ospreys saw victory snatched from them with a penalty goal from the half-way line in the fifth minute of injury time, that vital kick from replacement outside half Lionel Beauxis earning Stade a draw and meant that for the second game in a row they had picked up vital points at the death.
“We have to be realistic and say that Stade are odds on to win the Pool with their home game against Calvisano to come and, if they can get a bonus point, then they can’t be caught,” said former Wales captain and 10-times capped Jones as he attempts to plot the downfall of the Welsh region.
“It means that both ourselves and the Ospreys have to try to get five points to stand any chance of challenging for one of the two best runners-up spots. That is going to make for a great game.
“The one thing you learn about playing in the Heineken Cup is that you can never give up and that anything can happen. Just look what happened when Munster played Gloucester a few years ago and when we went to Munster last season.
“You have to pay your dues in this great tournament and you learn that everything you scrap for can turn out to be priceless. Just ask Fabien Galthie how he feels about the kicks that earned Stade a late losing bonus point against us and an injury time draw at the Ospreys.
“We will battle for 20 points and I’m sure that Ospreys coach Lyn Jones will be telling his players to go all out for a win and try bonus point as well. But it is a game that will be about more than just Heineken Cup points.
“We were very unhappy at losing in the dying moments at the Liberty Stadium in the first round and we want to make amends for that.
“It is also a classic Anglo-Welsh match – which always adds a bit of extra sparkle and spice to any occasion.
“There are a lot of positives that could come out of next weekend. We could scrape through into the quarter-finals and find ourselves going to play Biarritz again, but what an experience that would be for our younger players.”
Jones is hoping that England wing Mark Cueto might be fit to return for that final Pool game and last chance to make the quarter-finals.