Bath impressive away at Sale

Date published: September 6 2014

Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokodoguni both crossed as Bath saw off Sale 29-20 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokodoguni both crossed as Bath saw off Sale 29-20 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The away side outscored their opponents two tries to one, and were good value for their win.

Sale's AJ Bell stadium isn't the easiest place to go for any side, as Bath found out last year in a 19-13 defeat, but it didn't take long for them to hit the lead.

George Ford's clever kick in behind was taken in by Watson, who broke through the Sale defence to touch down after just a minute of the game.

Leroy Houston almost extended the away side's league soon after the restart, but knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Ford's two further penalties were sandwiched in-between Danny Cipriani's first points of the season, but Sale were determined to close the gap going into the break.

They did just that. Mark Jennings took up the mantle, charging over to leave Sharks just three points adrift.

The two fly-halves then traded a couple of penalties to leave the half time score at 16-13 to the visitors.

The score reflected the game, with not much to separate the sides in a tight affair.

After a slow start to the second half, with a Ford penalty the only action up to the hour mark, Sale found themselves in the lead.

Sharks' maul is one of their strengths, and it showed when they rumbled over the line, Mark Easter emerging from the bottom of the pile with ball in hand.

Cipriani's conversion meant the home side were ahead for the first time, albeit by just a point.

That lead lasted a matter of minutes. Rokoduguni secured the win, as Bath headed home with an opening win.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Jennings, Easter
Conversions: Cipriani 2
Penalties: Cipriani 2

For Bath:
Tries: Watson, Rokodoguni
Conversions: Ford 2
Penalties: Ford 5
Yellow card: Day

The teams:

Sale: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Alberto di Marchi, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Arscott.

Bath: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Matt Banahan.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Trevor Fisher