Planet Rugby

Leeds cut adrift by Sharks

15th February 2008 21:50

Share:

Sale Leeds Lee Thomas

Padding Out: Sale centre Lee Thomas runs into trouble on the visitors' line

Sale Sharks kept in touch with the leaders of the Guinness Premiership courtesy of a well-taken 29-3 victory over Leeds at Edgeley Park on Friday - a result that leaves the visitors rooted at the bottom of the table.

Leeds, who last won in the Premiership back in October, saw their winless run on the road - which now stretches back to November 2005 - extended thanks to Charlie Hodgson's near-impeccable kicking display and a try from Luke McAlister.

With England rival Jonny Wilkinson stuttering at present and Ashton reluctant to throw in Wasps' youngster Danny Cipriani into the unforgiving Six Nations limelight - Hodgson put the pressure on the pair with a faultless showing.

Leeds number 10 Alberto Di Bernardo had the first shot at goal but he failed to make early pressure from the visitors tell as he pushed a kickable penalty wide.

And his miss proved to be all the encouragement the Sale pack needed as Leeds were penalised at the scrum, allowing England discard Hodgson to score the first points of the game.

The Sale number 10 soon added to his personal tally; first knocking over a penalty after Magnus Lund was pulled back and moments later he punishing further Leeds' indiscipline with his third three-pointer of the half.

New Zealander McAlister was pulling all the strings for Sale in midfield and it was his incisive line that handed the home side their first try of the night.

Leeds collected a poor Oriol Ripol clearance but was immediately turned over, allowing Hodgson to find the excellent McAlister, who cut an excellent angle and from inside his own half he galloped over despite the best efforts of wing Tom Biggs.

Sale could have added a second try just moments before the break but Richard Wigglesworth - fresh from his first England cap - and Lund were held up short of the Leeds line, while Lee Thomas knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Di Bernardo struck early for the visitors with a penalty as Leeds attempted to drag themselves off the canvas in the opening minutes of the second half.

However, Sale were soon back in control as Hodgson continued to add to his ever-growing points' tally kicking a further two penalties as Leeds indiscipline was punished.

Despite dominating possession and being camped in the Leeds 22 throughout the second 40 minutes - Sale failed to take advantage wasting a string of gilt-edged chances.

Sale's dominance was further aided when Leeds substitute Adam Balding was sin-binned for a high tackle on England wing Mark Cueto in the 70th minute.

Hodgson turned down three kicks at goal in the second as Sale pushed for a second try and their dominance was finally rewarded late on as replacement Chris Bell scored seven minutes from time for the Sharks.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:

Tries: McAlister, Bell

Cons: Hodgson 2

Pens: Hodgson 5

Drops:

For Leeds Carnegie:

Pens: Di Bernardo

Sale Sharks: 15 Mark Cueto, 14 Chris Mayor, 13 Luke McAlister, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Sébastien Chabal, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Chris Jones, 5 Dean Schofield (c), 4 Brent Cockbain, 3 Stuart Turner, 2 Sébastien Bruno, 1 Lionel Faure.

Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Martin Halsall, 18 Sean Cox, 19 Juan Martin Fernández Lobbe, 20 Will Cliff, 21 Julien Laharrague, 22 Chris Bell,

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 John Holtby, 13 Jonny Hepworth, 12 Lee Blackett, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Joe Bedford (c), 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Jon Dunbar, 5 Pablo Bouza, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Tommy McGee, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Adam Hopcroft, 17 James Parkes, 18 Kearnan Myall, 19 Adam Balding, 20 James Brooks, 21 Andy Tuilagi, 22 Rob Vickerman.

Referee: Dean Richards

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Graeme Hughes

Assessor: Colin High

Television match official: Andrew Turner

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 EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
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
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions 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