Planet Rugby

Irish squeeze past Sale

10th May 2014 17:01

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Farewell outing: James O'Connor

Marland Yarde scored on his final appearance for the Exiles as London Irish pipped Sale Sharks 22-20 at the Madejski Stadium.

Neither side had anything to play for, with Irish safe from relegation and Sharks guaranteed sixth place, which led to an exciting game.

The away side led at half time, but surrendered two second half tries which saw them narrowly lose out.

Both clubs are losing players and it was clear that both will need good replacements if they are to achieve their goals next season.

Sale's forwards have had an impressive season, and they were on hand to drive over the line in the corner early on. Mark Easter was the man who claimed the score.

Irish responded almost immediately through Andrew Fenby, who was on the end of a James O'Connor offload to cross. Both sides had an attacking outlook, with the game an effective dead rubber.

With that in mind, Sale scored another try when Sam Tuitupou fed Tom Arscott, who put the Sharks back in front.

Danny Cipriani was given a rest for the game after an impressive season, but his replacement Joe Ford was doing a good job, nailing both of his conversions and hitting a penalty to stretch Sale's lead.

O'Connor did hit back though, as the sides went in with the visitors leading 17-10.

There was a definite end of season feel around the Madejski Stadium as Ford kicked another penalty just after the break.

Harlequins-bound Yarde gave the home fans a parting gift when he danced over the line to put the hosts back in the game.

Fenby's second try of the game had Irish in front. The winger danced through a despairing Sale defence and put the home side in front for the first time.

That proved to be enough, as an 8,000 strong crowd saw Irish secure their seventh win of the season.

The scorers:

For Irish:
Tries: Fenby 2, Yarde
Cons: O'Connor 2
Pen: O'Connor

For Sale:
Tries: Easter, Arscott
Cons: Ford 2
Pens: Ford 2

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Shane Geraghty (Captain), 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Ofisa Treviranus 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 Matt Parr.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Gerard Ellis, 21 Alex Lewington, 22 Myles Dorrian, 23 Ed Hoadley

Sale Sharks: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Charlie Ingall, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Will Cliff, 8 James Gaskell 7 David Seymour, 6 Mark Easter, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Viliami Fahiki, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Mark Jennings,

Referee: Greg Macdonald

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