Planet Rugby

Irish cling on for victory

Sale v London Irish Chris Hala ufia

The going gets tough at Edgeley Park.

02nd October 2009 22:13

Share:

Sale v Irish ferocious

Clinging on: Sale and the Exiles go to battle

London Irish clung on tenaciously - and once too ferociously - to beat Sale Sharks 11-8 in the Guinness Premiership at Edgeley Park on Friday.

Sailosi Tagicakibau claimed his sixth try of the season as London Irish moved to the top of the table.

The Samoan flier struck in typically predatory fashion in the 37th minute, touching down in the left corner after a brilliant break from former Sale centre Elvis Seveali'i.

However, the victory was marred by what appeared to be a serious leg injury sustained by wing Adam Thompstone early in the second half, and he was taken off on a stretcher clearly in distress.

Tagicakibau's try had helped Toby Booth's men into a 11-5 lead after a first half in which Sale battled gamely and briefly led when Welsh prop Eifion Roberts touched down in the 30th minute.

A penalty from Sale's stand-in fly-half Nick Macleod cut the gap to three points shortly after the restart, but Irish - again expertly guided around the field by scrum-half Paul Hodgson - held out with relative comfort for their fourth win in five games.

The Exiles arrived at Edgeley Park in the midst of a rich run of form which had seen them claim 14 tries and average 35 points a game in their previous four outings.

Although full-back Peter Hewat was off cue with early drop-goal and penalty attempts, Irish began to slowly demonstrate why they are so highly rated.

Deputy fly-half Chris Malone dovetailed effectively alongside Hodgson in midfield and a penalty from Hewat finally got the visitors off the mark in the 23rd minute.

Yet Sale, now without a win since their opening-day victory against Leicester, fashioned an initially impressive response.

Samoan centre Andy Tuilagi embarked on a delightful jinking run which took him from inside his own half and past a clutch of Irish defenders.

His progress was eventually halted, but on the half-hour mark Sale's purple patch was translated into points when Roberts emerged from a thicket of players to touch down after excellent play from the home pack.

Macleod, handed a rare start at No 10 in the absence of the injured Charlie Hodgson and Lee Thomas, failed to convert the try and the pendulum quickly swung back in Irish's favour.

In the 37th minute, a brilliant run down the left channel by Seveali'i cut the home side to pieces and he showed intelligence to usher the supporting Tagicakibau over in the corner.

The try capped a breathtaking move which summed up the Exiles, though Hewat's conversion attempt rebounded off a post before he added a penalty from distance shortly before half-time.

Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones was not happy with the officiating during the first half and made his displeasure known during the break.

His players showed similar fire to pin Irish back after the restart and a penalty from Macleod soon cut the gap to three points.

Thompstone was lost to a serious leg injury but Irish were dominant at the breakdown and had few problems keeping Sale at bay.

Indeed, genuine tryscoring opportunities grew scarce for both sides, but Irish were forced to hold on in the closing stages after replacement Peter Richards was sent off following a clash with Neil Briggs.

Sale - who now face a demanding Heineken Cup clash in Toulouse - could not make their numerical advantage pay and were left with only a losing bonus point to show for their efforts.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Try: Lewis-Roberts
Pen: MacLeod

For London Irish:
Try: Tagicakibau
Pens: Hewat 2

Red card: Richards (77, London Irish)

Sale Sharks: 15 Marika Vakacegu, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Dave Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Brent Cockbain, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Gavin Kerr, 19 Neil Briggs, 20 David Tait, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Johnny Kennedy, 23 Oriol Ripol.

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Richard Thorpe, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Danie Coetzee,1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Clarke Dermody, 17 David Paice, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Andy Perry, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Ryan Lamb, 22 Peter Richards, 23 Alfredo Lalanne.

Referee: Greg Garner

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26