Planet Rugby

Saracens too good for Sale

30th November 2013 17:12

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schalk brits saracens sale

Stopped: Schalk Brits

Saracens saw off the threat of Sale Sharks and Danny Cipriani with a 24-19 win over their tricky guests at Allianz Park.

The league leaders were left stunned at the break as Danny Cipriani inspired Sale to a 13-6 first-half advantage with a try, conversion and drop goal. But the home side found the right response in the second half with George Kruis' late try maintaining their position at the top of the Premiership table.

Saracens scored the first points of the afternoon in the opening minute when Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty in front of the posts.

But Sale found themselves in front on 11 minutes when Cipriani capitalised on a fumble from Kruis and combined with winger Charlie Ingall to score the opening try of the match.

The fly-half added the extras before Hodgson reduced the arrears to one point with his second penalty.

Injuries in quick succession to Dwayne Peel and Will Addison disrupted Sale who were being outgunned in the set piece. But Saracens were unable to turn that dominance into points and a long-range penalty from Rob Miller, who atoned for twice having clearing kicks charged down, and Cipriani's neatly taken drop goal right on half-time saw Sale take command of the scoreboard at 13-6.

Saracens' rolling maul set up a good attacking position shortly after the re-start and winger Jack Wilson was able to cross for a try on his Premiership debut.

After Cipriani kicked a penalty on 47 minutes Ingall forced his way over Saracens' line only for referee JP Doyle to disallow the try for a knock-on in the build-up.

Either side of the hour-mark Hodgson kicked one penalty and missed another against his former side to leave the game in the balance.

With the Sarries pack on top, Kruis bundled his way over the line to put the Men in Black in front with eight minutes to go and Hodgson extended that lead to eight points with his fourth penalty.

Replacement Nick Macleod kept his cool to slot a stoppage time penalty which handed Sale a deserved losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Wilson, Kruis
Con: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson 4

For Sale:
Try: Cipriani
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Cipriani, Miller, Macleod
Drop Goal: Cipriani

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 James Johnston, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Marcelo Bosch.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Charlie Ingall, 13 Mark Jennings, 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 James Flynn, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Tom Brady.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Nigel Carrick
TMO: Sean Davey

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