Sale too strong for Bath

Date published: April 17 2016

Sale continued with their fine recent Premiership form as they secured a deserved 29-17 victory over Bath at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.

The first half was a story of one side taking their chances while the other did not. Sale were far more clinical than their visitors, running in two tries from Vadim Cobilas and Will Addison. 

This saw them into a 17-9 half-time lead. Bath rallied in the second half to draw level. A try from Sesema Rokoduguni supplemented two George Ford penalties to see the score at 17-17 with 22 minutes to play. 

However, late tries from David Seymour and Mark Easter proved crucial as Sale secured victory. The win sees Sale rise into the top six following Harlequins' loss to Saracens at Wembley on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, Bath's miserable season continues as they remain in ninth place, eight points adrift of rivals Gloucester. It was Sale who opened the scoring after ten minutes, Cobilas the man who touched down following a patient build-up from the home side. 

Danny Cipriani added the extras, firing Sale into an early seven-point lead. After 15 minutes, Sale were penalised for not rolling away. Ford scored the resulting penalty for the visitors to make the score 7-3. 

The hosts extended their lead five minutes late, Addison the man to score on this occasion. The winger received the ball on the overlap from Cipriani before powering over the line for his fourth Premiership try of the season. The conversion was added by Cipriani, enabling Sharks to establish an 11-point lead. 

With 34 minutes on the clock Ford scored another penalty, keeping the visiting side within touch of their opponents with the score at 14-6. In the 38th minute Cipriani extended his side's advantage with another penalty, taking the score to 17-6. With the last kick of the half George Ford cut the gap to make the score 17-9 going into the break. 

After the interval Bath scored their first try, Sesema Rokoduguni scoring in the corner following some neat build-up through the midfield to cut the deficit to three. 

57 minutes in Bath were level, the strong Bath pack winning a penalty at scrum-time which was slotted home by Ford to restore parity. With eight minutes left to play Bath lock Dominic Day was sent to the sin-bin for collapsing a driving maul. 

Sale seized the advantage from this and scored their third try of the match straight after, Seymour the man to touch down from the back of a well worked driving maul to restore the hosts' lead at 22-17. 

With the clock ticking down in the 79th minute, the hosts scored their bonus-point try, Sam James driving in from five metres out before laying the ball on for the overlapping Easter to score. Cipriani was successful with his conversion attempt to make the final score 29-17.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:
Cobilas, Addison, Seymour, Easter
Cons: Cipriani 3
Pens: Cipriani 

For Bath:
Pens: Ford 4
Yellow card: Day

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Will Addison, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Nev Edwards, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Mark Easter, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Brady

Bath: 15 Rhys Priestland, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford (c), 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 David Wilson, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 David Denton, 21 Amanaki Mafi, 22 Will Homer, 23 Kyle Eastmond

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Ross Campbell
TMO: David Sainsbury