Planet Rugby

Leicester fend off Sale Sharks

28th December 2013 16:55

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Ed Slater taking contact for Leicester Tigers

First try-scorer: Ed Slater

Leicester saw off a plucky Sale Sharks outfit to triumph 30-23 in their Aviva Premiership clash, with fly-half Owen Williams playing well for the Tigers.

First-half scores from Ed Slater and Adam Thompstone helped the home side on their way, as they look to get out of mid-table and push for the play-offs.

Sale were 17-0 down at one point but rallied with two tries to give the Tigers an almighty scare.

A late penalty try looked to have snatched away Sharks' bonus-point chances, but Joe Ford converted a late penalty to send the visitors home with a point.

Leicester came out of the blocks with a ferocious attacking game. Their early dominance was rewarded with just two minutes on the clock when Slater finished off some impressive Tigers play to cross.

Sale, who have struggled on the road this season, found themselves ten points behind before they had a chance to gain any possession.

Young fly-half Owen Williams impressed the Welford Road faithful with some good place kicking.

Sam Tuitupou's sin-bin didn't help the Sharks, with Thompstone sneaking over in the corner. TMO Rowan Kitt adjudged that the winger had kept his foot in touch to extend the Leicester lead to 17.

Steve Diamond's men took 25 minutes to venture into their opponents half, but managed to leave with three points when they did.

The Tigers were rampant though, holding a fairly comfortable lead without too much pressure.

On the stroke of half time, Sale kept in touch with another Nick Macleod penalty, which was sandwiched between a great kick by Williams with the score 20-6 at half time.

After a Williams penalty early into the second period, Sale veteran Mark Cueto gave some hope to the visitors, rounding off a superb move to put Sharks within 10 points.

The Sharks then had the home fans on the edge of their seats. James Gaskell's superb break resulted in Charlie Ingall crossing, with the conversion narrowing the gap to three.

A sustained period of pressure in the Sale 22 finally told when a penalty try was given under the sticks to seal Leicester's win. Ford's penalty gave Sharks a deserved point.

The scorers:

For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Slater, Thompstone, Penalty
Con: Williams 3
Pen: Williams 3

For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Cueto, Ingall
Con: Macleod 2
Pen: Macleod, Ford

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 David Mélé, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Charlie Ingall, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Viliami Fahiki, 7 Dan Braid (c), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth.

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Peter Huckle
Timekeeper: Eric Bullion
Television match official: Rowan Kitt
Assessor: Gary Welsh

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