Toulon secure another win
Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon made it three wins out of three in Heineken Cup Pool Six with a 17-6 victory over Sale but did little to justify their tag of favourites with an unconvincing performance.
Filthy conditions at the Salford City Stadium did much to bridge the gulf in class between a star-studded side leading the French Top 14 and one propping up the Aviva Premiership, but the visitors did just enough to secure the crucial points, with winger David Smith scoring the only try and Wilkinson kicking four penalties from seven attempts.
A second defeat to French opposition ahead of next week's re-match on the Cote D'Azure leaves the Sharks with little hope of qualification for the knockout stages, but their priority is survival in the Premiership and new director of rugby John Mitchell will doubtless be encouraged by their gritty display. Sale's points came from the boot of Danny Cipriani.
Meanwhile, Ronan O'Gara's right boot helped Munster to a narrow 15-9 win over Saracens at Thomond Park.
O'Gara had a five-from-five kicking return, whereas his young counterpart Owen Farrell missed four of his seven shots at the posts.
Toulouse produced an impressive second-half performance to defeat Ospreys 30-14 and take control of Pool Two.
The four-time winners led 12-7 at the interval thanks to quick-fire tries from Florian Fritz and Yannick Nyanga. The Ospreys hit back with a try from Kahn Fotuali'i, but the second half was a one-team affair as Vincent Clerc, Census Johnson, Yoann Huget all crossed over.
The visitors again responded with a try, this time from Ryan Bevington, but it was too little too late.
Harlequins remain on course for top spot in Pool Three after a comprehensive 57-14 victory over Zebre, Sam Smith scoring a brace, while Gareth Steenson kicked 17 points as Exeter secured a 22-16 Pool Five success over Scarlets.
Racing Metro kept their hopes alive with a hard-fought 19-9 victory over Edinburgh at Stade Yves du Manoir - Juan Jose Imhoff and Eddy Ben Arous scoring either side of the interval.