Sale took to the field knowing this was a must win game as Biarritz had picked up a bonus point win the previous evening against Worcester Warriors.
The crowd observed a minutes silence before the game in memory of the late Nelson Mandela.
The early exchanges were brutal to say the least as you would expect from games played back to back and the game in Oyonnax the previous week was a full blooded encounter.
Sale had the first chance of the game to put points on the board after 8 minutes when Oyonnax were penalised at the scrum. Danny Cipriani took his time and kicked the ball between the sticks 3-0.
Defences were holding firm with neither side managing to make many metres but Sharks doubled their lead on 22 minutes when Danny Cipriani kicked his second penalty.
Sale scored the games first try on 24 minutes when Danny Cipriani took a quick tap penalty 20 metres out. He drew the defence and passed to James Gaskell who crashed over for a try. Cipriani's touchline conversion was perfect and Sharks were 13-0 in the lead.
The game was becoming the Cipriani show as on 31 minutes Danny intercepted a stray pass from Oyonnax and dashed in for a try. His conversion was perfect and Sharks led 20-0.
The Sale Sharks scrum was building up momentum and skipper Dan Braid scored a great try as the Oyonnax scrum crumbled under pressure on 35 minutes. Cipriani converted and Sharks were 27-0 in front.
A minute before the break Sammy Tuitupou found Mark Cueto on the wing with a perfect pass and Cueto rolled back the years and sprinted in for a great try wrong footing two defenders. Danny Cipriani kept up his 100% kicking record on the night with a conversion that went in off the post. The try was Sale Sharks 4th of the evening and earned the team a bonus point and put them back in pole position in Group One.
Half Time Sale Sharks 34 Oyonnax 0
Sale Sharks introduced Andy Forsyth and Michael Paterson as replacements after the break for Sammy Tuitupou and David Seymour.
Sale were soon back on the offensive but Oyonnax managed to clear the danger each time. They created an opportunity of their own but a last ditch tackle by Mark Cueto saved the day.
On 49 minutes it became the Danny Cipriani masterclass with an incredible solo try that brought all the crowd to their feet. He converted the try to make it 41-0.
Three minutes later Oyonnax to their credit put a good move together and Roimata Hansell Pune put winger Dug Codjo in under the posts for a try. Nicolas Vuillemin converted 41-7.
Mark Jennings and Dwayne Peel were replaced by Joe Ford and Will Cliff after the score and Sharks reshuffled their backline.
On 57 minutes Steve Diamond replaced the whole front row of Harrison, Taylor and Cobias with Flynn,Jones and Buckley. These substitutions were tactical but Mills had to replace Ostrikov who left the field with a facial injury.
Oyonnax scored their second try on 73 minutes after a scrum near the Sharks line. A clever set of interchange passing finished with Pune crossing the line. Vuillemin converted and this added some respectability to the scoreline 41-14.
Sharks reacted positively to the second of Oyonnax's tries with a sweeping crossfield move finished by full back Rob Miller who fought off the attempts of two tackles to score. Sadly Cipriani's 100% record was ended as his conversion sailed narrowly wide. 46-14
With one minute remaining Sharks turned on the champagne style rugby when Tom Brady sprinted 70 metres before being tackled. He passed to Kulemin who then found Michael Paterson who touched down with an outstretched arm. Cipriani converted and Sharks demolition job had ended.
Sale Sharks 53 Oyonnax 14
Rob Miller, Tom Brady, Mark Jennings (Off 53 mins), Sammy Tuitupou (Off HT), Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel (Off 53 mins), Ross Harrison (Off 57 mins), Tommy Taylor (Off 57 mins), Vadim Cobilas (Off 57 mins), Andrei Ostrikov (Off 57 mins), Kirill Kulemin, Dan Braid, David Seymour (Off HT), James Gaskell
Replacements: Marc Jones (On for Taylor 57 mins), James Flynn (On for Harrison 57 mins), Tony Buckley (On for Cobilas 57 mins), Jonathan Mills (On for Ostrikov 57 mins), Michael Paterson (On for Seymour HT), Will Cliff (On for Peel 53 mins), Joe Ford (On for Jennings 53 mins), Andy Forsyth (On for Tuitupou HT)
Scoring sequence: 3-0, 6-0, 11-0, 13-0, 18-0, 20-0, 25-0, 27-0, 32-0, 34-0 (Half Time) 39-0, 41-0, 41-5, 41-7, 41-12, 41-14, 46-14, 51-14, 53-14 (Full Time)
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|Sale Sharks Score Card|
|Oyonnax Score Card|