Sale 27-19 Harlequins: Faf de Klerk and Rob du Preez earn late Premiership Rugby Cup glory for Sale

Sale won the Premiership Rugby Cup by producing a grandstand finish in Salford on Monday night to claim their first trophy for 14 years.

Steve Diamond’s men surged into a 10-0 lead early on, only for Harlequins to score 19 unanswered points before the hosts staged a dramatic final-quarter fightback.

Sale struck the decisive blow five minutes from the end as South African fly-half Rob du Preez landed a penalty. Three minutes later he converted a solo try from Faf de Klerk.

Sale Sharks are the 2019-20 Premiership Rugby Cup champions after beating Harlequins

Marland Yarde (second from right) and Sale Sharks staged a late comeback against Harlequins

The rollercoaster late finish handed Sale a thrilling Premiership Rugby Cup triumph in Salford

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The Cheshire club’s last title was back in 2004 when they won the Premiership by thrashing Leicester in the final. This success will provide a confidence boost as they seek to revive their play-off prospects and strive for a league and cup double.

In an attritional first half, Sale went ahead through hooker Curtis Langdon’s close-range try. Rob du Preez converted and added a penalty but Quins rallied impressively.

Marcus Smith was on target with two penalties to reduce the deficit to four points, then Paul Gustard’s side claimed a try eight minutes before the break as James Chisholm barged over. Smith’s extras and a penalty put his side 16-10 up at the break.

The Londoners’ No 10 was on target with the boot again in the 50th minute to extend his side’s lead, but Sale deployed their powerful replacements and turned the tide. 

From a line out 13 minutes from time, the Sharks pack drove hard at the line and Dan du Preez scored a try converted by brother Rob. He was on the mark again in the closing minutes as Sale completed their dramatic comeback.

Sale’s family affair played an important part as they recovered from being 10-0 and 16-10 down

 

Saracens are destined to go into their Heineken European Champions Cup semi-final against Racing 92 in Paris on Saturday without another key player, after Michael Rhodes was cited for butting Leinster centre Robbie Henshaw.

The South African flanker has a hearing on Tuesday and faces a minimum six-week ban if found guilty.

Saracens are already without suspended England captain Owen Farrell, while a host of their stars are out on loan.

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