Ruthless Sale slays Dragons to seal home quarter-final

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Sale Sharks blew Newport Gwent Dragons away with a devastating first-half display in a 38-5 victory which ensured it won European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Two to secure a home quarter-final.

Two-time Challenge Cup winner Sale was two points behind the Dragons before their final pool match on Friday, but the Premiership side leapfrogged the Welsh region with a ruthless performance.

The Sharks had the job all-but done at the break, taking a commanding 24-0 lead courtesy of a Brian Mujati try, a penalty try and another score from Josh Beaumont - who showed why he was handed a first England call-up by Eddie Jones last week.

Danny Cipriani issued another reminder of his talents after being overlooked by Jones, scoring 12 points with the boot and setting up Nev Edwards for a bonus-point try before being replaced early in the second half.

The Dragons had lost Hallam Amos to the sin bin before Sale had a point on the board and things went from bad to worse from then on, with a try from Ashton Hewitt all they were able to muster at the AJ Bell Stadium.

A late converted Mike Haley touchdown rubbed salt into the Dragons' wounds on a miserable night for coach Kingsley Jones against his former club, but they were already assured of a place in the last eight.