Planet Rugby

Harlequins triumph over Sale

22nd February 2013 21:55

Share:

Ben Botica Harlequinns v London Irish AVP 2012

15 points: Ben Botica

Three tries lead Premiership champions Harlequins to a 30-21 win over Premiership strugglers Sale Sharks on Friday.

Cameron Shepherd's try took Sale into an early lead, but Quins controlled the rest of the half with Tom Williams touching down and Ben Botica adding eight points with the boot.

Botica continued his fine form in the second period with another penalty before converted scores from Easter and Charlie Matthews sealed a fine victory, their 12th in 13 games.

Richie Vernon and Sam Tuitupou scored consolation efforts in the last few minutes for Sale, but the result means they still reside at the bottom of the league.

After securing four wins in succession, the Sharks were handed a further boost when Rob Miller and Dan Braid put pen to paper on new deals.

Although Miller sat out this game, his replacement, former Australia international Shepherd, got the Sharks off to the perfect start.

Just two minutes had elapsed when Quins were turned over in the contact area. Will Cliff then fed Henry Thomas and good hands from Tuitupou and Mark Cueto sent the full-back away.

Danny Cipriani converted impressively from a difficult angle and the league's bottom club led 7-0 but the visitors, in typical fashion, went on the attack.

Jordan Turner-Hall made indents in the Sale defence and, after they infringed at the breakdown, Botica slotted the resultant opportunity.

Despite their fine opening, it was the London-based outfit that began to dominate. Ill discipline at the tackle area was proving costly and Harlequins' Kiwi stand-off added a second from the tee to reduce the arrears further.

Another penalty then forced referee Martin Fox to send Tuitupou to the sin-bin and the away side profited when Williams touched down.

Karl Dickson took advantage of the space left by Cueto, who was lying injured on the ground, and his surging run was finished by the right winger.

Botica was successful with an easy conversion as Quins deservedly led 13-7 at the interval.

The second half continued with the defending Premiership champions controlling proceedings and their fly-half took them nine points clear after another Sharks' indiscretion.

Sale had barely touched the ball throughout the match but a penalty chance allowed them an opportunity to get back into the encounter. However, Cipriani was off target with the attempt.

Harlequins' back-row Maurie Fa'asavalu then received a yellow card for punching Marc Jones, but it was one of Europe's outstanding outfits that were by far the more inventive.

Dickson in particular was causing problems around the fringes and his piece of quick thinking nearly ended in another score. Although the hosts initially held out, a lineout drive saw Easter touch down, Botica converting, to take the score to 23-7.

Further pressure on the home team's line then led to Matthews going over as they crumbled under Quins' sheer power. Vernon and Tuitupou crossed late on as the home side rallied, but it was too little too late.

The scorers:

Sale:
Tries: Shepherd, Vernon, Buckley
Cons: Cipriani 3
Yellow Card: Tuitupou

Harlequins:
Tries: Williams, Easter, Matthews
Cons: Botica 3
Pens: Botica 3
Yellow Card: Fa'asavalu

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Dan Braid, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Richie Vernon, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Will Addison.

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 George Lowe.

Referee: Martin Fox

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058