Sale and Falcons share spoils

Date published: November 28 2015

Danny Cipriani missed a last minute penalty as Sale Sharks were made to settle for a 15-15 draw against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.

Cipriani and captain Dan Braid were recalled to the Sharks side for the match, while Newcastle handed a Premiership debut to Marcus Watson. 

In wet conditions at the AJ Bell Stadium, Cipriani handed the hosts an early advantage with his first penalty goal of the afternoon. But the scores were level less than ten minutes later as Mike Delany responded in kind.

Cipriani edged Sale back in front with his second penalty goal of the afternoon on 23 minutes, but the Falcons hit the front shortly after with the game's first try, which was awarded by the TMO to Rob Vickers, who crossed from short range.

Substitute Tom Catterick was wide with the conversion, which allowed Cipriani to put his side back in front with his third penalty goal of the afternoon.

It remained 9-8 until the closing stages of the afternoon, when Cipriani continued his fine form with the boot to put a four-point cushion between the sides.

The Sharks dominated the early exchanges following the restart and they were rewarded with another three points, again from the boot of Cipriani, which made it a seven-point game.

In increasingly wet conditions, the hosts were unable to add to the lead, and they saw a try ruled out by the TMO, before the Falcons managed to wrestle their way back into the contest.

Their equalising try came nine minutes from full-time, and was scored by Jon Welsh following a passage of good handling play from the line-out.

There was a dramatic finish, as consecutive penalties handed Cipriani the opportunity to win it for Sale, but he was unable to add to his tally with what was the last kick of the game, ensuring a tie.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Pen: Cipriani 5

For Newcastle:
Tries: Vickers, Welsh
Con: Catterick
Pen: Delany

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Chris Harris.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Trevor Fisher