Ford boots Bath to Premiership victory over Sale

George Ford helped kick Bath to a 20-29 Premiership season opening victory over Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The away side outscored their opponents two tries to one as Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokodoguni both crossed for the visiting side.

Sale’s AJ Bell stadium isn’t the easiest place to go for any side, as Bath found out last year in a 19-13 defeat, but it didn’t take long for them to hit the lead.

George Ford’s clever kick in behind was taken in by Watson, who broke through the Sale defence to touch down after just a minute of the game.

Leroy Houston almost extended the away side’s league soon after the restart, but knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Ford’s two further penalties were sandwiched in-between Danny Cipriani’s first points of the season, but Sale were determined to close the gap going into the break.

They did just that. Mark Jennings took up the mantle, charging over to leave Sharks just three points adrift.

The two fly-halves then traded a couple of penalties to leave the half time score at 16-13 to the visitors.

The score reflected the game, with not much to separate the sides in a tight affair.

After a slow start to the second half, with a Ford penalty the only action up to the hour mark, Sale found themselves in the lead.

Sharks’ maul is one of their strengths, and it showed when they rumbled over the line, Mark Easter emerging from the bottom of the pile with ball in hand.

Cipriani’s conversion meant the home side were ahead for the first time, albeit by just a point.

That lead lasted a matter of minutes. Rokoduguni secured the win, as Bath headed home with an opening win.

Final Score Sale (13) 20 Bath (16) 29

Scorers

Sale
Tries: Jennings, Easter
Conversions: Cipriani 2
Penalties: Cipriani 2

Bath
Tries: Watson, Rokodoguni
Conversions: Ford 2
Penalties: Ford 5
Yellow card: Day

Match Officials
Referee:
JP Doyle (81st Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton and Gordon Goodliffe.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Teams

Sale Sharks

Luke McLean, Tom Brady, Will Addison, Mark Jennings, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Chris Cusiter, Eifion Lewis Roberts, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas, Nathan Hines, Michael Paterson, Dan Braid (Captain), David Seymour, Mark Easter

Replacements: Cameron Neild, Ross Harrison, Alberto di Marchi, Jonathan Mills, Magnus Lund, Will Cliff, Joe Ford, Tom Arscott

Bath

15. Luke Arscott,14. Semesa Rokoduguni ,13. Jonathan Joseph,12. Kyle Eastmond,11. Anthony Watson,10. George Ford,9. Peter Stringer,1. Paul James,2. Rob Webber,3. David Wilson ,4. Stuart Hooper ( c ),5. Dominic Day,6. Alafoti Fa’osiliva,7. Guy Mercer,8. Leroy Houston

Replacements: 16. Tom Dunn,17. Nick Auterac,18. Henry Thomas,19. Dave Attwood,20. Carl Fearns,21. Chris Cook,22. Gavin Henson,23. Matt Banahan

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