Lamont causes Saracens' lament

20th Oct 2007, 10:07

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Rory Lamont provided the inspiration as Sale edged a titanic tussle 34-30 to maintain their outstanding home form and deny Saracens top spot in the Guinness Premiership.

Rory Lamont provided the inspiration as Sale edged a titanic tussle 34-30 to maintain their outstanding home form and deny Saracens top spot in the Guinness Premiership on Friday.

The visitors, who arrived at Edgeley Park having made their best start start to a Premiership campaign since 1998, led 17-13 at the break knowing that a bonus-point win would lift them above Gloucester and to the top of the table.

But Sale had their own agenda and an outstanding second-half performance which harvested three tries preserved their proud record of having not lost at home since April.

Lamont, 25, who impressed on World Cup duty for Scotland, did as much as anyone to ensure Sale a bonus-point victory against a brave Sarries outfit.

The wing helped to craft a first-half try for Richard Wigglesworth and crossed the line himself in the 51st minute for the first of his side's three second-half scores.

Charlie Hodgson's boot put Sale ahead with a fourth-minute penalty but his opposite number, the outstanding Glen Jackson, soon began to exert his authority on proceedings with a stream of testing kicks which had the hosts on the back foot.

A 26th-minute Hodgson penalty put Saracens 6-0 ahead but the response from the visitors in the reminder of the half was as impressive as it was clinical.

A Jackson penalty shortly before the half hour mark cut the gap to three points and three minutes later prop Kevin Yeates barged over the line from close range after Saracens quickly recycled the ball from the breakdown.

Jackson added the extras to hand his side a 10-6 advantage which was extended in first-half injury-time with a delightful try from Fiji flanker Sakiusa Matadigo.

A bewildering array of inter-passing saw the ball pass through five pairs of hands and culminated in Adam Powell sending Matadigo clear down the left flank.

Jackson again converted but there was still time for Sale to claim their first try of the game before the half-time whistle.

It came courtesy of neat handling from the impressive Lamont, who fed Magnus Lund and his short pass allowed Wigglesworth to cross the line for a try which Hodgson converted.

Lamont raced clear five minutes after the break for a try which Hodgson again converted but a Jackson penalty soon after tied the scores at 20-20.

However, two minutes before the hour mark Lee Thomas scuttled over in the right corner and although Jackson claimed a drop-goal and a try which he also converted, Sale hit back again to win the match eight minutes from time.

The score arrived when Ben Foden crossed in the right corner to restore his side's advantage and Hodgson converted to end the scoring in an exhilarating encounter.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries:
Wigglesworth, Lamont, Thomas, Foden
Cons: Hodgson 4
Pens: Hodgson 2

For Saracens:
Tries:
Yates, Matadigo Jackson
Cons: Jackson 3
Pens: Jackson 3

Sale Sharks: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Rudi Keil, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Nathan Bonner Evans, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Chris Jones, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Ben Evans, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Lionel Faure
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Stuart Turner, 18 Chris Day, 19 David Tait, 20 Sililo Martens, 21 Elvis Seveali'I, 22 Chris Mayor

Saracens: 15 Richard Haughton, 14 Edd Thrower, 13 Kevin Sorrell, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Rodd Penney, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Neil de Kock (c), 8 Ben Skirving, 7 David Seymour, 6 Sakiusa Matadigo, 5 Kris Chesney, 4 Iain Fullarton, 3 Cencus Johnston, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Kevin Yates.
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Tom Mercey, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Don Barrell, 20 Alan Dickens, 21 Gordon Ross, 22 Noah Cato.

Referee: Andrew Small
Touch judges: Bob Mullis, Don Helme
Assessor: Brian Campsall
Television match official: Andrew Turner