Planet Rugby

Sale break losing run

28th December 2012 21:55

Share:

Sale v Worcester Richie Gray

Try scorer: Richie Gray

Three tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and Mark Cueto gave Sale a crucial 33-27 Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester on Friday.

The Sharks have been rooted to the foot of the table since the start of the campaign but they dug deep to claim a precious victory in a fraught encounter at a windswept Salford City Stadium.

The result lifted Sale to within one point of second-bottom London Irish and encouraged hopes that survival is within their grasp.

Fly-half Danny Cipriani was steadily influential throughout and claimed a 18-point haul after being dropped for his side's defeat at London Wasps in their previous outing.

He kicked four penalties and converted tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and England winger Mark Cueto, whose touchdown saw him draw level with former Sale team-mate Steve Hanley's all-time Premiership try-scoring record of 75.

With the wind at their backs, Worcester opened the scoring in the fifth minute when former England international Andy Goode converted his first penalty.

He added two more in quick succession to increase the visitors' lead to 9-0 after 13 minutes before Sale finally responded in the 21st minute.

They won their first line-out and forced Worcester back towards their own line before towering forward Gray touched down under a pack of bodies.

Cipriani converted to cut Worcester's lead to just two points and the pendulum swung firmly in Sale's favour.

Yet Worcester claimed their first try in the 27th minute when Matt Kvesic's simple offload sent fellow flanker Neil Best burrowing over the line from close range. Goode converted with ease to put Worcester 16-7 ahead but the visitors lost full-back Chris Pennell to the sin-bin 10 minutes before the break for holding down.

Three minutes before half-time, and with Worcester down to 14 men, Sale hauled themselves back into the game with a well-worked try.

They won a line-out on the left flank, switched play to the right corner before Cipriani and hooker Marc Jones combined to send Gaskell over unopposed inside the left channel.

Cipriani converted to leave the scores neatly poised at 16-14 in Worcester's favour at half-time, an advantage extended two minutes after the break when Goode kicked his fourth penalty.

Worcester were reduced to 14 men again in the 45th minute as Walker was then sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and Cipriani kicked the resultant penalty. He then landed a penalty from almost 50 metres to put Sale ahead for the first time in the 54th minute before Goode missed from distance moments later.

Sale replacement Fraser McKenzie was then sin-binned within a minute of his introduction for flattening Semisi Taulava and Goode kicked the penalty to edge Worcester back in front.

However, Sale struck a decisive blow in the 59th minute when Gray's astute offload found Richie Vernon and he cleverly sent Cueto scampering over in the left corner.

Cipriani landed a fine conversion to put Sale 27-22 ahead before Goode missed a relatively straightforward penalty.

Cipriani then kicked two more penalties with aplomb before a scrappy late try in the right corner from replacement Aleki Lutui - which Goode failed to convert - gave Worcester a deserved losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:
Try: Gray, Gaskell, Cueto
Pens: Cipriani 4
Con: Cipriani 3
Yellow Card: McKenzie

For Worcester:
Try: Best, Kvesic
Pens: Goode 5
Cons: Goode
Yellow Cards: Pennell, Walker

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 James Doyle, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Cameron Shepherd.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00