SALE Sharks moved back in to the play-off places after beating 14-man Exeter 25-20.

The champions played the entire second half a man down after hooker Jack Yeandle was sent off – something that galvanised the Chiefs according to Sale’s director of rugby Alex Sanderson.

The Sharks were made to work hard for their victory which ended two consecutive defeats against Harlequins and Bath to move up to fourth place.

Exeter were leading going in to the final quarter of the encounter but a try from Curtis Langdon – following earlier touchdowns from Byron McGuigan and Bevan Rodd – levelled matters while AJ MacGinty’s conversion put Sale ahead before slotting over a late penalty.

Sanderson was impressed with Exeter’s performance but not surprised.

“I’ve been in establishments with 14-men – beat Racing at home and beat Ospreys away (with Saracens) - and it focuses your mind on every play,” said Sanderson whose side host Newcastle Falcons on Friday night.

“The best teams can do that, Exeter can do that. We had to produce a relentless performance and for the most part I thought it was in terms of our application.

“When application roles into ill-discipline, that’s when we can let teams back in, which is what we did.

“We’ll take that win and we can build on it. It was more of an 80-minute performance, even though the discipline let us down at times.”