Without Marnus Uijs and Des Dillon, Connacht never looked likely to cause an upset from the moment flanker Apollo Perelini opened the scoring for Sale in the the opening minutes. Charlie Hodgson added the conversion and Sale were up and running. They did however owe their next try to some dodgy refereeing. Sale prop Adam Black clearly knocked on as he tried to ground the ball in the 13th minute but Sefano Mancini allowed the score, to the amazement of those around the ground. They scored a third try when Mark Cueto outpaced the Connacht cover and all the Irish had to show for their effort was two Eric Elwood penalties.
Trailing by 16 points at half time, Connacht hopes of a revival were killed when Cueto put Hodgson away for a fourth try and from then on it was simply a case of Connacht fighting for pride.
Former Connacht player, Mel Deane scored his side's fifth try and two more followed, one from Scott Lines and a second for Deane.
Connacht: G Duffy; P Duignan (M McPhail 65), W Munn, T Allnutt, J Ferris; E Elwood (M McHugh 54), E Reddan; D McFarland, T Kearns (H Bourke 65), P Bracken (R McCormack 54); R Frost, D Browne (A Maher 65); P Neville (M Swift 54), C Rigney, J O'Connor.Sale Sharks: V Going; M Cueto (S Hanley 57), M Shaw, M Deane, A Elliott; C Hodgson (S Davidson 78), J Bramhall (A Dickens 77); A Black, A Titterrall (B Jackman 65), S Turner (K Yates 65); I Fullarton, M Giacheri (P Anglesea 70); A Perelini (S Lines 61), A Sanderson, R Wilks.
Referee: S Mancini (Italy).