Sale Sharks ensured on-the-field activities received the headlines once more last night as they recorded a bonus-point victory over Montauban at Edgeley Park.
The Stockport-based side announced earlier this week that director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre would be stepping down from his role at the end of the current season, with head coach Kingsley Jones set to take his place.
Despite the obvious media interest in the timing of Saint Andre's decision, the Sharks maintained their focus to move to the top of the Pool 1 standings.
"There would have been no excuses because the news of my announcement did not affect how they played on the pitch," explained Saint Andre after he watched his team run out comfortable 36-6 winners over the Heineken Cup newcomers.
"I tried to be very honest with the guys. We've had five fabulous years but it's not a time to say thank-you yet because I will be here until the last game of the season."
A brace of tries from Argentina's Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, followed by second-half scores from Anitele'a Tuilagi, Eifion Lewis-Roberts and David Tait ensured the home side took a maximum five points from the first of their back-to-back encounters with the French Top 14 outfit.
"We won, scored five tries and played some good rugby," added Saint Andre, whose team began their European campaign with a stunning victory at ASM Clermont Auvergne before falling to defeat at home to reigning champions Munster.
"We are still in the competition but next week at Montauban will be a different story."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.