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Arron Reed double sees Sale down Harlequins

By PA
Aaron Reed of Sale Sharks celebrates scoring a try during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Sale Sharks and Harlequins at AJ Bell Stadium on April 21, 2024 in Salford, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

Arron Reed celebrated a century of appearances with a double as an entertaining Sale side outwitted Harlequins to win a 10-try thriller 37-31.

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Captain Ben Curry, openside Sam Dugdale and scrum-half Raffi Quirke all crossed the try line for Alex Sanderson’s side, with the win giving Sale a serious chance of making the play-offs.

The Manchester club have jumped from eighth to sixth in a tight Gallagher Premiership table, while the Londoners slipped out of the top-four places to fifth.

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Sharks started with real intent from kick-off and within two minutes their skipper Curry powered over off a driving lineout to open the scoring.

A rapid kick and chase from deep by Sale wing Tom Roebuck put Harlequins on the back foot immediately after the restart before Cobus Wiese powered over Marcus Smith to break the Londoners down and some quick interplay found Dugdale on the left for the flanker to slide over.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Sale
37 - 31
Full-time
Harlequins
All Stats and Data

George Ford extended Sale’s lead to 15-0 from the tee after just 13 minutes but Harlequins bounced back, putting pressure on the Salford side with four successive lineouts from five metres out. Then six quick phases saw inside centre Andre Esterhuizen set up a three-on-one for wing Louis Lynagh to power over on the right corner.

The Middlesex men kept Sale pinned deep in their 22-metre area and another Quins lineout led to a near repeat try, a long looping Smith pass to fullback Tyrone Green pulling Sharks narrow for Lynagh to sidestep Joe Carpenter and dot down in the corner.

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In an end-to-end fashion, Sharks’ pace in the loose pushed Quins back and a Ford chip to Curry was ping-ponged back to Reed for the winger to muscle over and re-extend Sale’s lead on his 100th appearance.

A sloppy tackle on Sale number nine Gus Warr allowed Ford to extend Sharks’ lead just after the restart.

Harlequins, blowing hot and cold, got their act together once more, Esterhuizen pulling in several defenders before Chandler Cunningham-South became the catalyst, powering through the blue line to set up Cadan Murley on the left for the winger’s 50th try in Harlequins colours.

Quins capitalised from a lineout. With the forwards pulling in Sale’s men, outside centre Oscar Beard found a gap to slip through and score the bonus-point try.

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Lady luck shone on Sale as replacement back Tom O’Flaherty’s charge down found Quirke and the England star dashed over for Sharks’ bonus point.

Sale looked comfortable being a man down and O’Flaherty linked up with outside centre Rob du Preez, whose beautiful long pass found Reed, and the Cheshire man’s electric pace put several defenders in a spin as he shot over the try line on the left.

Murley slipped through several Sale players to set up replacement Luke Northmore for a consolation try, and Smith’s conversation gave Harlequins a second and crucial bonus point in the final minutes.

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