Planet Rugby

Mayor sinks old side Sale

29th January 2010 21:48

Share:

Johnny Kennedy tackled by Joe Ansbro

In vain: A run from Johnny Kennedy

Northampton put one foot in the LV= Cup knockout stages thanks to a Chris Mayor-inspired 20-14 victory over Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park on Friday.

Jim Mallinder's side are now four points clear at the top of Pool Four with one round of games to come next weekend after a huge defensive effort in the second half saw them hold off their hosts.

Saints were 10-0 up thanks to a try from centre Mayor and a conversion and penalty from fly-half Stephen Myler.

Wing Paul Diggin extended that lead at the start of the second half and Myler added a second penalty, before Charlie Hodgson and Sisa Koyamaibole went over for the hosts as the Sharks launched a spirited fightback.

Sale, boosted by the news that scrum-half Dwayne Peel has signed a new two-year deal at the club, welcomed prop Jack Forster back into their front row with David Seymour at flanker. Wing Ben Cohen, full-back Marika Vakacegu and centre David Bishop started behind the scum.

Northampton were captained by Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe with Dylan Hartley on England duty, but wing Chris Ashton was available despite being included in Martin Johnson's Six Nations squad.

The Heineken Cup quarter-finalists made a fluent start despite missing their international stars and they claimed the game's opening try within four minutes.

Centre Joe Ansbro got his hands through some weak midfield defence and found Ashton on his inside, the wing finding Mayor for the centre to race over against his former club, Myler adding the extras.

Sale's poor start was compounded when they lost Forster to injury, Martin Halsall coming on as his sixth-minute replacement.

The Saints continued to dominate possession, showing good continuity to build a handful of attacks through several phases.

The pressure got to their hosts as hooker Marc Jones was penalised for not rolling away and Myler knocked over a simple penalty to extend the visitors' lead.

But Northampton were dealt a blow when flank Neil Best, who will join Worcester next term, was sin-binned after flooring opposite number Chris Jones as he chased a loose ball.

Sale responded with their best spell of the match as Lewis-Roberts was brought down just short of the line after a fine offload from Fiji number eight Koyamaibole, but the Sharks lost control in the tackle area and the chance was gone.

The home side continued to press but they were let down by some basic handling errors that saw them turn over possession in some promising positions as half-time loomed.

The difference between the teams was highlighted when Northampton scored immediately following the interval.

Sale turned the ball over in their own 22 and it was fed wide to wing Diggin, who stepped inside some poor inside defence to dot down by the posts, Myler's conversion making it 17-0.

But the Sharks finally turned some of their pressure into points in the 55th minute.

After being camped on the Saints line for phase after phase, fly-half Hodgson took it upon himself to twist through a Fernandez Lobbe tackle to score a try which he converted.

Myler then slotted his second penalty to give the away side a 20-7 lead, but Sale continued to have a huge edge in territory and possession although it looked as though a lack of composure and countless handling errors would stymie their fightback.

Koyamaibole then barrelled his way over from a five-metre scrum with five minutes to play to set up an exciting finale, but Northampton held on.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Hodgson, Koyamailbole
Con: Hodgson 2

For Northampton:
Tries: Mayor, Diggin
Con: Myler 2
Pen: Myler 2

Sale: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Ben Cohen, 13 Jonny Kennedy, 12 David Bishop, 11 David Doherty, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 David Seymour, 6 Chris Jones, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Jack Forster, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Martin Halsall, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Marika Vakacegu, 23 Oriol Ripol.

Northampton: 15 Bruce Reihana, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Chris Mayor, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Alan Dickens, 8 Mark Easter, 7 Scott Gray, 6 Neil Best, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Brian Mujati.
Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Alex Waller, 19 Owen Giles, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Barry Everitt, 23 Nick Greenhalgh.

Referee: Nigel Owens

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
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
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
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup 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
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup 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
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00