Planet Rugby

Sale break into top four

22nd February 2014 16:11

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Mark Cueto dotting down for Sale Sharks

Try on his 200th game: Cueto

Sale Sharks moved up to fourth in the Aviva Premiership standings after beating bottom side Worcester 24-12 at Sixways Stadium on Saturday.

Despite persistent Worcester pressure in the latter stages of the first-half, Mark Cueto's early try and two penalties from Danny Cipriani gave Sale an 11-0 advantage at the interval.

A further Cipriani three-pointer and Dan Braid's touchdown opened up a comfortable cushion, although Mariano Galarza's two late scores gave the Warriors some consolation.

After enduring a difficult season, this game was one that Dean Ryan's men targeted. However, against a team which are in contention for a top-six position, Worcester struggled to contain Sale's powerful pack in the initial stages.

It took Cipriani just a minute to open the scoring via a penalty before Dave Seymour's break resulted in Cueto touching down on his 200th Premiership appearance.

The scrum in particular was proving a strength in the Sharks' armoury and that pressure up front gave their fly-half a chance to extend the lead, which he duly took.

To their credit, the Warriors fought back and laid siege to the visiting line. They had a number of opportunities to reduce the arrears but a lack of composure, as well as Sale's stout defence, prevented the home side from crossing the whitewash.

With half-time beckoning, Agustin Creevy looked to have gone over but the hooker was ruled to be held up and they went into the break 11-0 down.

The hosts were left to rue their profligacy as the away team opened the second period impressively. Cipriani took them 14-0 ahead with a three-pointer before Braid touched down to effectively secure the win.

Although Galarza went over for a consolation score for Worcester, Nick Macleod's late penalty extended Sale's advantage to 24-5.

But the Warriors had the last word when their Pumas lock crossed for his and the Midlands' outfit's second try.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Tries: Galarza 2
Con: Lamb

For Sale:
Tries: Cueto, Braid
Con: Cipriani
Pen: Cipriani 3, Macleod

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 David Lemi, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 James Pervical, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 George Porter, 18 Rob O'Donnell, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Jeremy Su'a, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Dean Hammond.

Sale Sharks: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Vilami Fihaki, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Mark Jennings.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (Eng)
Assistant referees: Simon McConnell, Andrew Pearce (both Eng)
TMO: David Grashoff (Eng)

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