4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
The visitors, still smarting from the defeat in Lansdowne Road found themselves ten points down after Charlie Hodgson converted Steve Hanley's opening quarter. That score came when Shane Horgan had his kick-through blocked but Hanley appeared to be well offside before he raced clear.
Leinster held their composure and had a try in each half from John McWeeney and Brendan Burke and withstood a late bout of Sale pressure to claim the points that sends them to the top of Pool 3.
Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett's hopes of capturing the European Cup with French champions Stade Francais received a welcome boost as they dismantled an ill-disciplined Welsh side Gwent Dragons 37-0.
Stade avenged their 20-12 defeat in Wales last weekend with an impressive and clinical performance and captured a bonus point for scoring five tries as Argentine fullback Ignacio Corleto, Pierre Rabadan, captain Mathieu Blin with two and an on-fire Christophe Dominici touched down. The victory took them top of the Pool One standings on points difference from two-time champions Leicester, who beat Stade in the 2001 final and destroyed Ulster in their clash on Saturday.
However the French side, nicknamed the 'aristocravats', still need to beat Ulster on January 24th and then at Leicester to ensure their progress to the last eight.
Blin rounded off a dominant performance against a Gwent side which received three yellow cards by touching down in the corner in time added on. Dominici ensured that Stade secured what could be a crucial bonus point when he finished off another sparkling move which involved several players from deep in their half.
Corleto started it off running deep into Welsh territory before offloading it and when Diego Dominguez was brought to ground the ball came out to Thomas Lombard, whose long pass found Dominici and he ran in to score.
Stade had a couple more chances to add to the try tally especially after Gwent were handed their second yellow card of the match but failed to thanks to some sterling Welsh defending.
However Blin made them pay once Adam Black earned their third yellow card with under 10 minutes remaining.
His effort was nothing as spectacular as Corleto's stunning opening try. It stemmed from a wonderful passing movement across the pitch, the Argentine got the break he needed as Dominici's lightning quick flick on released him and he outsprinted the covering defence to touch down under the posts.
Jason Forster's yellow card in the 32nd minute for a high tackle had also been punished by the French side. A minute later Rabadan had scored his second try of the campaign as the 23-year-old picked up at the back of the scrum and went over unopposed to touch down.
Blin added a third shortly before the break after Stade won a lineout and the scrum bundled him over.