Harlequins travelled to Sale with a much-changed team to the side that faced Bath at The Stoop the previous week. Once fly-half James Lang and hooker Joe Gray withdrew before kick-off having failed late fitness tests, there were twelve changes to the previous week’s starting XV.
Despite these changes, Quins were the first side to draw blood, with Argentinian halfback Martin Landajo dotting down within the first five minutes after fullback Tyrone Green broke down the right touchline, feeding inside to captain Stephan Lewies who drew the final defender before putting Landajo away.
Quins fly-half Will Edwards, earning his first start for Quins having replaced Lang, added the two to hand his side the perfect start in Manchester.
Sale’s forward power and Quins’ indiscipline would dominate the narrative for the rest of the first-half, with the home side claiming four tries that went without response to secure the bonus-point. Sale fly-half AJ MacGinty converted flanker Cameron Nield’s 38th-minute score at the stroke of half-time, seeing his side head into the changing rooms with a 19-point lead at 26-7.
The second half would tell a similar tale to the first, with the Sale forward pack proving too much for Quins on this occasion as Rohan Janse van Rensberg, Bevan Rodd and Dan Du Preez each muscled their way over for scores. Quins did not go down without a fight, however, with fly-half Edwards slicing through the Sharks’ defence in the 69th minute to take Quins into double figures.
Despite some open field counterattack from Quins in the dying minutes, there would be no addition to Landajo and Edwards’ scores, with the final score reading Sale 45, Harlequins 12.
Final score: Sale Sharks 45 – Harlequins 12
Next match: Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons. Saturday, June 12. 15:00 kick-off.