Sale Sharks hang on to beat Bath at the Rec

Danny Cipriani kicked Sale Sharks to a famous 11-12 Aviva Premiership victory over Bath at the Recreation ground on Friday.

Sale Sharks led 6-9 at half time and extended that to 6-12 before Ross Batty scored a late try for Bath.

George Ford missed the conversion and two late drop goals that would have won the match for Bath.

Superb defence, some controversial refereeing decisions and three late missed
kicks by George Ford combined to hand the Sharks a fourth successive win on
the road.

Steve Diamond’s battlers are now within three points of fourth-placed Leicester.

The result was all the more remarkable due to the withdrawal of leading scorer
Mark Cueto and skipper Dan Braid just before kick-off.

Six minutes into the match, referee Dean Richards blew for the first time when
Bath prop Paul James failed to use his arms in a tackle on fellow Welshman Marc
Jones and Cipriani stepped up to kick the first points of the match from in
front of the posts.

George Ford levelled the scores five minutes later after Sale’s well-marshalled
defence was, for once, guilty of overstepping the mark and found to be offside.

Sharks’ centres Sam Tuitupou and Johnny Leota combined well in midfield to
set up the Sale’s next opportunity, a high tackle from Matt Garvey eventually
leading to another three points for the visitors.

Cipriani made it 9-3 after Sale’s first-half scrum dominance was rewarded before
Ford, after dynamic number eight Leroy Houston had given Bath some badly needed
momentum, struck back.

The fly-half, though was unable to convert a third chance just before the break
and Sale led 9-6 at half-time.

In contrast to Ford, Cipriani was on target with his first shot at goal in
the second-half and Sale held a six-point lead until Ross Batty barged his way
over from a line-out catch-and-drive move on 75 minutes.

Bath can count themselves unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty try before
then, a 14-minute spell of scrummaging close to the Sharks’ line only resulting
in a yellow card to Bath-bound prop Henry Thomas.

Crucially, Ford was unable to convert Batty’s try – his first in the Premiership
– and Bath, trailing by a point, threw the kitchen sink at Sale as steady rain
continues to fall.

Twice Ford attempted a drop-goal in the dying throes of the game, the first
being charged down by replacement fly-half Nick Macleod and the second going
just wide with the clock on red.

Final Score Bath 11 (6) Sale Sharks 12 (9)


Tries – R.Batty
Pen -G.Ford (2)
Con –
Drop –

Sale Sharks
Tries –
Pen – D.Cipriani (4)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Dean Richards (66th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden and Kelvin Stewart.
TMO: David Grashoff.



15. Nick Abendanon , 14. Anthony Watson , 13. Ollie Devoto , 12. Kyle Eastmond , 11. Semesa Rokoduguni , 10. George Ford , 9. Peter Stringer , 1. Paul James , 2. Ross Batty , 3. David Wilson , 4. Stuart Hooper ( c ) , 5. Dave Attwood , 6. Matt Garvey , 7. Guy Mercer , 8 Leroy Houston

Replacements :16. Tom Dunn , 17. Nathan Catt , 18. Anthony Perenise , 19. Dominic Day , 20. Carl Fearns , 21. Micky Young , 22. Gavin Henson , 23. Horacio Agulla

Sale Sharks

Tom Arscott, Tom Brady, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto,

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