Sale Sharks too strong for Harlequins

Date published: September 9 2016

Sale Sharks got their season back on track when they claimed a 19-10 victory over Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

Dan Mugford, on his first start for the club, produced an excellent kicking display. The youngster, who was playing in the Championship last season with Nottingham, was pivotal in recording Sale their first four points of the campaign. 

A late siege on the Sale half saw Harlequins get little change from the Sharks and no losing bonus point.

Minutes into the contest, Sale forward TJ Ioane was stretchered off after being hit in a heavy challenge. Midway through the match, he was reported to be in a stable condition.

Debutant Mugford got the first points of the affair with a well taken penalty 15 minutes after a delayed start. His night got even better as a driving maul led to another kick from the tee, which Mugford made no mistake from for two from two.

By the midway point of the first half, Mugford had his hat-trick of penalties completed as Harlequins were penalised at the breakdown once more.

However, the advantage was almost completely wiped out as Chris Robshaw eventually touched down after multiple opportunities to kick the three points were turned down.

Nick Evans converted and the deficit was just two points heading into half time. Neither side were able to grasp control in the early stages of the second half, but Quins' prop Owen Evans handed the hosts the chance to do so, receiving 10 minutes in the sin-bin for pulling down the maul.

David Seymour was the man who took advantage, with Mugford's kicking getting even better, not allowing the wind to take his kick away from the middle of the posts.

Evans hit home a penalty for the visitors moments after, but a brawl ensued following Kyle Sinckler's yellow card at the ruck with Harlequins reduced to 13 players.

It did not take long for Mugford to take advantage, kicking through the posts once more from the resulting penalty.

Following a spell of little note, the match was reduced to further carnage as Luamanu made a no-arms tackle on Josh Beaumont with less than 10 minutes to go, ending Quins' chances of a comeback as Sale held out for the four points.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:
Con: Mugford
Pens: Mugford 4
Yellow Card: Mills

For Harlequins: 
Con: Evans 
Pen: Evans
Yellow Cards: Sinckler, Evans
Red Card: Luamanu

Sale Sharks: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Will Addison, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Josh Beaumont (c), 7 David Seymour, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Dan Mugford, 23 Nev Edwards

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sam Twomey, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Will Collier, 19 James Chisholm, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Winston Stanley

Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Keith Lewis