Planet Rugby

Sale break losing run

28th December 2012 21:55

Share:

Sale v Worcester Richie Gray

Try scorer: Richie Gray

Three tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and Mark Cueto gave Sale a crucial 33-27 Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester on Friday.

The Sharks have been rooted to the foot of the table since the start of the campaign but they dug deep to claim a precious victory in a fraught encounter at a windswept Salford City Stadium.

The result lifted Sale to within one point of second-bottom London Irish and encouraged hopes that survival is within their grasp.

Fly-half Danny Cipriani was steadily influential throughout and claimed a 18-point haul after being dropped for his side's defeat at London Wasps in their previous outing.

He kicked four penalties and converted tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and England winger Mark Cueto, whose touchdown saw him draw level with former Sale team-mate Steve Hanley's all-time Premiership try-scoring record of 75.

With the wind at their backs, Worcester opened the scoring in the fifth minute when former England international Andy Goode converted his first penalty.

He added two more in quick succession to increase the visitors' lead to 9-0 after 13 minutes before Sale finally responded in the 21st minute.

They won their first line-out and forced Worcester back towards their own line before towering forward Gray touched down under a pack of bodies.

Cipriani converted to cut Worcester's lead to just two points and the pendulum swung firmly in Sale's favour.

Yet Worcester claimed their first try in the 27th minute when Matt Kvesic's simple offload sent fellow flanker Neil Best burrowing over the line from close range. Goode converted with ease to put Worcester 16-7 ahead but the visitors lost full-back Chris Pennell to the sin-bin 10 minutes before the break for holding down.

Three minutes before half-time, and with Worcester down to 14 men, Sale hauled themselves back into the game with a well-worked try.

They won a line-out on the left flank, switched play to the right corner before Cipriani and hooker Marc Jones combined to send Gaskell over unopposed inside the left channel.

Cipriani converted to leave the scores neatly poised at 16-14 in Worcester's favour at half-time, an advantage extended two minutes after the break when Goode kicked his fourth penalty.

Worcester were reduced to 14 men again in the 45th minute as Walker was then sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and Cipriani kicked the resultant penalty. He then landed a penalty from almost 50 metres to put Sale ahead for the first time in the 54th minute before Goode missed from distance moments later.

Sale replacement Fraser McKenzie was then sin-binned within a minute of his introduction for flattening Semisi Taulava and Goode kicked the penalty to edge Worcester back in front.

However, Sale struck a decisive blow in the 59th minute when Gray's astute offload found Richie Vernon and he cleverly sent Cueto scampering over in the left corner.

Cipriani landed a fine conversion to put Sale 27-22 ahead before Goode missed a relatively straightforward penalty.

Cipriani then kicked two more penalties with aplomb before a scrappy late try in the right corner from replacement Aleki Lutui - which Goode failed to convert - gave Worcester a deserved losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:
Try: Gray, Gaskell, Cueto
Pens: Cipriani 4
Con: Cipriani 3
Yellow Card: McKenzie

For Worcester:
Try: Best, Kvesic
Pens: Goode 5
Cons: Goode
Yellow Cards: Pennell, Walker

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 James Doyle, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Cameron Shepherd.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls 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
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058