Harlequins hold on to beat Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks vs Harlequins survived a second half comeback from Sale Sharks in their Aviva Premiership to earn a 23-25 bonus point victory at the AJ Bell Stadium

Quins seemingly ran away with the game in the first-half, scoring four tries courtesy of Charlie Walker, Chris Robshaw, Marland Yarde and Danny Care.

Sale’s only response was two penalties for Danny Cipriani, meaning they were trailing 22-6 at half time.

Harlequins only had to score a penalty courtesy of Nick Evans in the second-half to win the game despite a comeback by the home side.

Sale scored three tries in the second-half, two for Tom Arscott and the other from Mark Cueto but in the end, missed conversions cost them dear.

Walker opened the scoring for Harlequins after only four minutes when the ball was charged down and he out-ran Sale’s players to get to the ball first and ground it over the line.

Cipriani replied with his first penalty but just minutes later, Quins were in again. Another charge down this time passed through a couple of hands before finding Robshaw who finished it off with the try.

Yarde was on the end of a series of quick hands and some poor tackling by Sale meant he simply side stepped the defenders and smashed over the line to score.

Cipriani kicked another penalty but by this time his Sale side had some serious catching up to do.

A minute from half time, Care crashed over in the corner to add the bonus-point try for Harlequins and see his team go into the half-time break in good spirits.

Evans kicked a penalty three minutes into the second-half to further extend the Harlequins lead.

The visitors had Ollie Lindsay-Hague sent to the sin-bin on 49 minutes and Sale took full advantage of the extra man. Arscott saw his opportunity, seeing the gap he shot straight through it and over the line to put his side back in the game.

The Sale replacement scored again after coming off the bench on 73 minutes, once again spotting the gap and sailing straight through, diving over the line to score.

Minutes later, Cueto found himself on the end of some serious attacking pressure by Sale and caught the pass on a great angle, shrugging off the Harlequins defence to score.

Joe Ford missed the conversion and with just two points now separating the teams, the final five minutes were incredibly tense as Sale threw everything they could at the visitors.

Harlequins held on and Sale had simply left themselves too much to do from the first-half as they fell to a home defeat.

Final Score Sale Sharks 23 (6) Harlequins 25 (22)

Scorers

Sale Sharks
Tries – Arscott 2, Cueto
Pen – Cipriani 2
Con – Cipriani
Drop –
Cards –

Harlequins
Tries – Walker, Robshaw, Yarde, Care
Pen – Evans
Con – Evans
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee :Wayne Barnes (153rd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe and Roger Baileff
TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Teams

Sale Sharks

15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 TJ Ioane 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Josh Beaumont, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.

Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Arscott

Harlequins

15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter, 3 Matt Shields, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.

Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Seb Adneiran-Olule, 18 Darryl Marfo, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ugo Monye

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