Late London Irish kick edges out Sale Sharks

London Irish edged out Sale Sharks 21-19 in their Aviva Premiership rugby match at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.


A late penalty kick by Adrian Jarvis proved to be the difference in the match and the result moves the Exiles back to fifth place.


Sale opened up a 10-0 lead through a converted try from Rob Miller and a Nick Macleod penalty, but Irish dominated the rest of the first half.


Bryn Evans barged over and then Topsy Ojo touched down as the hosts led 12-10 at the break.


Three penalties by Macleod put Sale 19-18 up, after Irish had responded with two of their own from Tom Homer and Adrian Jarvis. But Jarvis was the hero with a late three-pointer.


It was the visitors who started the brighter, pressurising the Irish 22. And they were rewarded after just five minutes when Miller darted over after good work from Richie Vernon and Johnny Leota.


The Sharks have impressed in recent weeks, emphasised by their narrow 28-23 defeat to Leicester Tigers last week, and they continued that form early on in this encounter. And Macleod converted a penalty opportunity to establish a 10-point advantage for the away side.


However, Sale’s tendency to overplay was exploited to the full by the hosts when they turned over opposition ball. After numerous phases, Evans drove across the whitewash and it was Irish who began to control proceedings as they took the lead for the first time when Ojo touched down.


Just like the opening period, the Sharks dominated initial stages of the second half and took the lead through the boot of Macleod after David Paice was sin-binned.


But Homer restored Irish’s advantage before the visitors’ fly-half edged them ahead. Jarvis and Macleod traded three-pointers before the hosts’ number ten kicked a late penalty to snatch the win.


Final Score London Irish 21 (12) Sale 19 (10)


Scorers


London Irish
Tries: Evans, Ojo
Penalties: Homer, Jarvis 2
Conversions: Homer


Sale Sharks
Tries: Miller
Penalties: MacLeod 4
Conversions: MacLeod


Referee: Wayne Barnes (101st Premiership game)


Teams


London Irish:15. Delon Armitage ; 14. Topsy Ojo ; 13. Jonathan Spratt ; 12. Shontayne Hape ; 11. Tom Homer; 10. Adrian Jarvis; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Clarke Dermody (Captain) ; 2. David Paice ; 3. Paulica Ion ; 4. Nick Kennedy ; 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Bryn Evans ; 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Alex Gray


Replacements: 16. James Buckland; 17. Alex Corbisiero ; 18. Faan Rautenbach ; 19. Bob Casey ; 20. David Sisi; 21. Adam Thompstone; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Paul Hodgson


Sharks: 15.Rob Miller, 14.Tom Brady, 13.Johnny Leota, 12.Sam Tuitupou (capt), 11.Joaquin Tuculet, 10. Nick Macleod, 9.Dwayne Peel, 1.Alasdair Dickinson, 2.Marc Jones, 3.Tony Buckley, 4.Fraser McKenzie, 5.James Gaskell, 6.Richie Vernon, 7.Onosa’i Auva’a, 8.Andy Powell.


Replacements: 16.Andy Titterrell, 17.Lee Imiolek, 18.Vadim Cobilas, 19.Kearnan Myall, 20.Mark Easter, 21.Cillian Willis, 22.Luther Burrell, 23.Will Addison.

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