Sale give Cueto winning send off

Date published: May 9 2015

Sale gave retiring club stalwart Mark Cueto a winning send off on Saturday as they beat Newcastle 34-28.

Cueto scored one of the Sharks' five tries in his final home game for the club.

The Sharks were reduced to 14 men just two minutes into play, as Tommy Taylor was sin-binned for what the referee deemed a tip tackle on Rob Vickers.

But that didn't deter the hosts, who raced into a seven point lead just a couple of minutes later. Chris Cusiter was the man who benefited from a neat burst forward by Josh Beaumont, Danny Cipriani adding the extras.

Inside the opening ten minutes came the second try, as the Falcons fired themselves straight back into contention. The visitors had put together some prolonged pressure following the first try, and made it count via Adam Powell who sped past a number of challenges to cross the line, though Rory Clegg's missed conversion ensured they stayed two points behind.

Newcastle kept on the pressure, Simon Hammersley's neat chip almost resulting in a second try, whilst seconds later they won an attacking scrum just five metres out that Sale did expertly to defend.

And then came a hugely apt moment, as Cueto grabbed a special try. Cueto, playing in his final home game along with Nathan Hines who are both drawing their career to a close, had a golden moment when he went in under the posts, with the conversion coming from Cipriani for a nine-point lead.

Clegg had his first points of the afternoon 20 minutes into it with a penalty that reduced the arrears, but Cipriani continued his good start in front of the posts as he made it three kicks out of three.

Clegg kicked three more points as the clock wound down towards half-time in this battle at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Four minutes before the break, Sale went over for a third time with Sam Tuitupou crashing through after a lineout just metres from the line, and Cipriani kicked Sale into the break with a 24-11 lead.

Newcastle came out of the other side of half-time raring to get back into the game, Clegg kicking three more points to narrow the deficit.

But Sale's rampant try-scoring performance as they made it four for the afternoon. David Seymour was the man who this time crossed the line after neat ball play on the wing saw him go over, with the TMO checking just in case. Cipriani missed the conversion, but Sale still had a very healthy lead.

The Falcons refused to lie down though, and substitute Richard Mayhew ensured a nervy last ten minutes for Sale after he touched down following a Falcons drive from their own lineout. A conversion from Juan Pablo Socino dragged the lead down to just eight points.

But Sale secured the game with a driving maul that left the visitors with no chance of stopping. A lineout five metres out caused mayhem and TJ Ioane had the ball in hand, for the Sharks fifth try of the afternoon.

But this action packed game still had something left in it, and Newcastle again reduced the gap to eight points. Powell made some good ground, and the ball eventually found its way back to Socino who went over and converted his own effort.

But Sale held on, and clinched a thrilling eight-try game at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Cusiter, Cueto, Tuitupou, Seymour, Ioane
Cons: Cipriani 3
Pen: Cipriani
Yellow card: Taylor

For Newcastle:
Tries: Powell, Mayhew, Socino
Cons: Socino 2
Pens: Clegg 3

Sale: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mike Haley

Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Will Witty, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Alesana Tuilagi, 23 Anitelea Tuilagi

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Jackson
TMO: Graham Hughes