Australian lock Emmanuel Meafou scored as five-time winners Toulouse beat Sale 27-5 to claim their place in the last sixteen of the Champions Cup on Saturday.
Meafou, 24, who is waiting for a French passport and may even feature in their Six Nationals squad, crashed over in the second half as Sale played an hour with 14-men after Cobus Wiese’s red card.
The home side will have to win against Ulster in the final round of pool games next weekend to keep their hopes alive of advancing.
In rare sunshine in the Manchester suburbs, Sale made the worst possible start as props Simon McIntyre and Nic Schonert collided with each other at the kick-off and left the field with just six seconds on the clock with head injuries.
That was compounded by a red card for Wiese 18 minutes when the South African lock went in recklessly and dangerously at a ruck.
Despite that the home side led 5-3 at the break thanks to a try from hooker Akker van der Merwe, who loved up to his nickname of ‘Angry Warthog’ when he barged his way over for a fifth try of the season.
The second half, though, belonged exclusively to Toulouse as they ran in twenty-four points without reply.
Meafou and replacement hooker Guillaume Cramont both went over for tries while full-back Melvyn Jaminet took his kicking tally to seventeen points.
Four-time winners Leinster also reached the knock-out stages as they hammered Gloucester 42-14 as World Rugby player of the year Josh van der Flier was on the scoresheet.
Ireland tight-head prop Cian Healy became the fifth player to reach one hundred games in continental competitions as he replaced Michael Ala’alatoa with half an hour to play.
The sides followed Leicester into the next stage after the two-time former winners beat Clermont 44-29 on Friday.
Later, there’s a repeat of the 2000 final as Munster play Northampton, holders La Rochelle host Ulster and Saracens will be without England captain Owen Farrell for the first of four games after he received a ban for a high tackle as they welcome Lyon.
On Sunday, three-time runners up Racing 92 play English champions Harlequins.