Planet Rugby

Sale fight back to win

17th September 2010 21:50

Share:

Mark Cueto Tom Williams Sale v Harlequins

Vital try: Mark Cueto

A superb late fightback earned Sale Sharks a 21-17 Aviva Premiership victory over Harlequins at Edgeley Park on Friday.

Tries from Sale backs Mark Cueto and Kyle Tonetti left Harlequins still searching for their first win of the season.

First-half scores from George Lowe and Jordan Turner-Hall put Quins 17-6 ahead at the break but the momentum was largely with Sale in the second half.

Cueto's 68th-minute try was well merited and, after the visitors lost Tomas Vallejos to the sinbin, Tonetti touched down a neat kick from Nick Macleod to seal victory in the closing stages.

Mike Brewer's men deserve immense credit for refusing to buckle against a lively Quins outfit, who themselves showed admirable character before caving into the incessant late pressure.

Both sides were hit by the loss of their first-choice scrum-halves after Dwayne Peel and Danny Care withdrew late on through illness and an ankle injury respectively.

The visitors looked more dangerous with the ball in hand during the opening exchanges and they duly led inside the fifth minute when Lowe grounded in the left corner and Nick Evans added the extras from the touchline.

Macleod spurned the opportunity to get Sale off the mark when his long-range penalty attempt sailed wide, but both teams were keen to run the ball at every opportunity.

Sale went agonisingly close to breaching the Harlequins line in the 17th minute when Sosa Koyamaibole's astute offload sent Mark Cueto scampering clear down the left flank before some desperate last-ditch defending denied the England wing.

Moments later Macleod kicked a penalty for Sale and then added another from 60 metres to put his side firmly on the front foot.

Yet as the first half wore on, Harlequins grew as an attacking force, largely due to Mike Brown's willingness to break forward from full-back, and a penalty from Evans put them 10-6 ahead in the 28th minute.

Ten minutes later they claimed their second try when Brown glided past a clutch of Sale defenders and broke clear from inside his own half.

He was eventually tackled but Turner-Hall remained alive to the possibilities and hacked the loose ball forward before grounding for a try which Evans converted.

Sale head coach Mike Brewer made three changes at the break with Andrew Sheridan, Neil Briggs and Will Cliff replacing Jack Forster, Marc Jones and Chris Leck as the hosts sought to claw their way back into the game.

The early signs were encouraging but Sale struggled to make their momentum pay as Quins defended stoutly before losing centre Ollie Smith to the sinbin in the 50th minute for persistent infringement.

Evans threatened to scamper clear for a breakaway score in the 52nd minute only to be denied by a fine tackle by Ben Cohen.

Yet the pendulum began to swing back in Sale's favour as the match wore on and incessant pressure led to Vallejos being sinbinned and Cueto touching down in the left corner with 12 minutes remaining after slick handling from Cliff, Macleod and Cohen.

Macleod's conversion attempt rebounded off a post but he soon produced a teasing grubber kick which Tonetti grounded to send Edgeley Park into raptures.

Macleod converted the try and then added a late penalty to give Sale their second successive home win under Brewer and leave Quins utterly deflated.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Cueto, Tonetti
Con: Macleod
Pens: Macleod 3

For Harlequins:
Tries: Lowe, Turner-Hall
Cons: Evans 2
Pen: Evans

Yellow cards: Smith (Harlequins -47th min) ; Vallejos Cinall (Harlequins - 63rd min)

Sale Sharks: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Ben Cohen, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Nick Macleod, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Matty James, 9 Chris Leck , 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 David Seymour, 6 Carl Fearns, 5 James Gaskell (c), 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Jack Forster, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Aston Croall, 19 Nic Rouse, 20 Kristian Ormsby, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Kyle Tonetti, 23 Tom Brady.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 George Lowe, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner, 6 Chris Robshaw (c), 5 Tomas Vallejos, 4 Nick Easter, 3 James Johnston, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Ollie Kohn, 20 Pete Browne, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Gonzalo Camacho.

Venue: Edgeley Park
Referee: Dave Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00