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Sale claim bonus point in crucial win over Leicester

Sam James of Sale Sharks celebrates scoring a try. Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Sale boosted their chances of a Premiership play-off place with a bonus-point 31-22 win against Leicester.


Gus Warr, Tommy Taylor, Sam James and Tom O’Flaherty crossed for tries as last season’s runners-up made it four straight bonus-point wins on the day director of rugby Alex Sanderson penned a new three-year contract.

Leicester held an early lead through a rare Dan Cole try and also crossed through Matt Scott in the first half, while England’s George Martin added a third with just four minutes remaining.

Sharks, who started the weekend in sixth place, travel to Saracens on the final day of the league season next weekend, almost certainly needing another win to stand a chance of a top-four finish. They move third but teams around them still need to play.

Tigers roared into an early lead at Salford Community Stadium as Cole crashed over the try line to make it 5-0 but Sale turned it around in the 10th minute as Warr sniped across the line from a ruck five metres out before George Ford added the conversion.

Leicester had Ollie Hassell-Collins in the sin bin a minute later following a TMO review before the referee brandished a yellow card after a high tackle on Manu Tuilagi.

Sale stretched their lead to nine in the 14th minute as Taylor strode across the try line on his 150th Sharks appearance after a well-orchestrated lineout, before Ford added the conversion.


An opportunistic interception from Scott on halfway allowed him to run in for Leicester’s second try and Pollard’s conversion made the score 14-12 in the 18th minute.

In the 35th minute the long-serving James, in his last home game before leaving his boyhood club this summer, got Sale’s third try following superb quick hands by Sharks down the blindside before Ford added the conversion to make it 21-12.


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Team Logo

A penalty from Tigers’ Jamie Shillcock on the stroke of half-time from just inside Sale’s half made it 21-15 but Sale secured their try bonus point five minutes after the break following sustained attacking pressure as O’Flaherty pounced on a James grubber kick.

Sale controlled the second-half proceedings, stretching their lead to 16 points just before the hour with a Ford penalty.


Charlie Clare received Leicester’s second yellow as panic took hold of the Tigers defence in the 67th minute after an impressive length-of-the-field counter-attack led by Tuilagi in his final action at the AJ Bell Stadium for Sale.

Martin scored Leicester’s third try in the 75th minute and Shillcock converted from a tight angle, a consolation for the visitors as Sale saw the game out on a scoreline of 31-22.

The impressive victory sets up a final-game showdown between Sale and Saracens for a Premiership play-off spot.



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Wonton 5 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

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Nick 6 hours ago
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