Sale Sharks secure comfortable victory over Exiles

Sale Sharks won their fifth Aviva Premiership match of the season when they comfortably beat struggling London Irish 15-3 at the AJ Bell stadium.

The victory moves Sale Sharks into the top half of the Aviva Premiership standings.

First-half tries from Tom Brady and Dave Seymour helped Sale on their way to
a comfortable win, in a game which was played in horrific conditions.

Stuart Lancaster, who was making his first trip to the AJ Bell Stadium so far
this season, will have found it difficult to judge Danny Cipriani’s England
prospects, as Sale’s fly-half found place kicking difficult as the wind swirled
all around him.

Irish’s pre match preparations were dealt a blow when new signing CJ Van Der
Linde dropped out of their starting line-up through injury.

Their misfortune prior to the game was replicated on the pitch, as they slumped
to their fifth league defeat in a row and eighth of the season.

Cipriani had luck on his side for the game’s opening points, as his kick in
behind the Irish defence rather fortuitously bounced over the head of Andrew
Fenby to allow a simple run in for Brady.

The game needed one team to have a slice of good fortune, with the previous
20 minutes littered with unforced errors and broken play, which wasn’t helped
by a wet ball and a driving wind.

Steve Diamond’s men were up for a fight though, as the Sale pack forced Irish
backwards from a line-out to drive over. Former skipper Seymour was at the bottom
of the pile to claim Sharks’ second try.

The visitors’ woes weren’t helped by a gale which was forcing them backwards
on their own kicks. Ian Humphreys’ restart blew straight over his head to give
Sale possession straight back.

Cipriani managed to secure just his second successful kick out of six eight
minutes into the second half, this time judging the wind perfectly to extend
Sale’s lead to 15 points.

Chris Hala’ufia’s sin-bin made Irish’s second-half task even more difficult,
who couldn’t take advantage with the wind behind their backs like Sale had in
the first period.

That said they did finally get on the scoreboard when Humphreys knocked over
a penalty to put Irish back in touch.

Sale had chances to put the final nail in the coffin. The fact they didn’t
mattered little, as their fifth win of the season leaves them an impressive
sixth in the Aviva Premiership table.

Final Score Sale (12) 15 London Irish (0) 3

Scorers

Sale
Tries: Brady, Seymour
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Cipriani

London Irish
Pens: Humphreys

Match Officials
Referee
: Tim Wigglesworth (75th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Chris Sharp and Luke Pearce
TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Teams

Sale Sharks

Rob Miller, Tom Brady, Mark Jennings, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel, Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor, Vadim Cobilas, Jonathan Mills, Michael Paterson, Dan Braid, David Seymour, James Gaskell

Replacements Marc Jones, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, Henry Thomas, Kirill Kulemin, Andrei Ostrikov, Will Cliff, Joe Ford, Phil Mckenzie

London Irish

15. James O’Connor, 14.Topsy Ojo, 13.Fergus Mulchrone, 12. Eamonn Sheridan, 11. Andrew Fenby, 10. Ian Humphreys, 9. Tomas O’Leary, 1. Matt Parr, 2. Jimmy Stevens, 3. CJ Van Der Linde, 4. George Skivington (Captain), 5. Ian Gough, 6. Jebb Sinclair, 7. Blair Cowan, 8. Chris Hala’ufia

Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew, 17 J

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