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Connacht Rugby have the chance to overtake Pool 3 leaders Sale Sharks with a victory in Galway on Friday night.
- Sale Sharks have won all five of their meetings with Connacht, although their two victories in Galway during that run both came by seven points or fewer.
- Connacht have won 17 of their last 19 pool stage home games. However, both of them defeats came against English opposition.
- Sale have won both of their away games this season, not since 2007/08 have they gone unbeaten away from home in the Challenge Cup pool stage.
- Sale’s Sam James has made five try assists this season. no player has made more after four rounds.
#TBT | Its Throwback Thursday and its a good one this week!
Who remembers the first ever #AshSplash in a Sharks shirt! 🦈
What a moment that was 🆚 @connachtrugby in this years @ERChallengeCup! 🏆
Talk about right place right time @UKFast!! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/WaP778vFx6
— Sale Sharks🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) January 10, 2019
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A penalty by Aussie replacement David Horwitz eight minutes from time helped Connacht to a nail-biting 20-18 win over European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 3 rivals Sale Sharks.
The win leaves Sale on top by virtue of a superior points difference ahead of the final pool games next Saturday when Sale host Perpignan and Connacht travel to Bordeaux.
Connacht had begun much the stronger and built a 17-0 advantage inside the opening quarter courtesy of tries by Australian centre Kyle Godwin and scrum half James Mitchell straight from the resulting kick-off after a hack ahead.
🏉 | TRRRRYYYY TIME!!! pic.twitter.com/lAdcr8CMQ3
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) January 12, 2019
Fly-half Jack Carty landed both conversions to add to an early penalty and Sale were desperate for a response which duly arrived just before the break as England winger Chris Ashton rounded off some crisp approach work.
South African fly-half Faf de Klerk converted and was inspirational in the fightback as he crossed for a try ten minutes into the second half before landing two penalties to give Sale an 18-17 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.
In a tense finale it was Horwitz who landed the knockout blow for Connacht to set up what promises to be an exciting climax next weekend.
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