Planet Rugby

Cipriani steers Sale past Bath

04th October 2013 21:46

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Good innings: Danny Cipriani

Former England fly-half Danny Cipriani guided Sale Sharks to a 19-13 win over Bath on Friday to rise up the Aviva Premiership table.

The impressive fly-half kicked 14 points and pulled the strings in attack for a Sharks outfit that largely out-muscled Bath in the physical exchanges.

Cipriani also put his body on the line in defence, one flying tackle denying Bath replacement Alafoti Faosiliva a spectacular score shortly after the former Bristol number eight had come onto the field as first-half injury cover for Leroy Houston.

Both Cipriani and opposite number George Ford missed early shots at goal before the Sale man got his side's account up and running with a three-pointer on 11 minutes.

Bath responded with a well-taken Semesa Rokoduguni try after the in-form winger burst onto a pass from Peter Stringer and used his pace and side-step to beat the covering defence. Ford converted.

A Cipriani penalty closed the gap to a single point and Sale then took the lead for the second time through Andrew Forsyth's 31st minute try.

Sale's forwards did the donkey work with a superb lineout drive and the backs supplied the finishing touch with some quick handling to put the centre away in the left-hand corner. Cipriani added the extras.

Ford and Cipriani again exchanged penalties to make the half-time score 16-10 in Sale's favour.

Both fly-halves were on target again to provide the only points of the third quarter.

Michael Paterson's sin-binning for kicking the ball away in the ruck threatened to turn the game Bath's way as the clock ticked past the hour mark, but Sale kept their line intact with some determined defending.

Cipriani's replacement, Joe Ford, had the chance to deny Bath a losing bonus point at the death but his 35-metre kick was wide of the mark.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Try: Forsyth
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Cipriani 5
Yellow Card: Paterson

For Bath:
Try: Rokoduguni
Con: Ford
Pens: Ford 2

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Phil McKenzie, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Andrei Ostrikov, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Sammy Tuitupou.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18. Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Carl Fearns, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ben Williams, 23 Gavin Henson.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees : Stuart Terheege and Paul Burton
TMO: Trevor Fisher

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