Cipriani helps Sale Sharks beat Exeter Chiefs

Danny Cipriani will rejoin Wasps for next season

Sale Sharks moved into the tour four in the Aviva Premiership when they beat Exeter Chiefs 18-11 at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on Friday night.

Sale now sit provisionally in third place under Exeter Chiefs who are in third place.

Former England flyhalf Danny Cipriani converted his own try and kicked two penalties for a total of 13 points in the match.

Cipriani however had to leave the field injured having taken a knock on his knee.

Sharks coach Steve Diamond said that he was confident that Cipriani would be fit to face Leicester Tigers next week.

Cipriani’s two first half penalties put Sale into a half time lead as Gareth Steenson was only able to score a single penalty for the visitors.

Exeter had two players sin-binned in the opening period but they managed to stay resolute despite constant pressure from the hosts.

However, in the second half they couldn’t turn the tide as, despite another Steenson three-pointer, tries from Cueto and Cipriani took the Manchester outfit 18-6 ahead.

Thomas Waldrom scored late on for Exeter to garner a losing bonus point but the Sharks held on for the victory.

Both these sides have shown impressive domestic form recently. While the visitors went into the game with seven wins in nine league matches, Sale have also produced some excellent results.

Three successive Premiership triumphs suggested that the Sharks were starting to produce the type of performances which saw them take sixth place last season.

That confidence was evident in the opening exchanges as Steve Diamond’s men dominated the forward confrontations in torrential conditions and Exeter struggled to deal with the pressure exerted.

The West Country outfit had Damian Welch and Ben White sin-binned in the first 15 minutes and Sale duly went 3-0 up through the boot of Cipriani.

However, they couldn’t make their numerical advantage count despite periods of good play with ball in hand and the hosts paid for their profligacy when Steenson levelled from the tee.

Still, the Manchester outfit were considerably the better side and another infringement from the Chiefs allowed Sale’s stand-off to kick them into a 6-3 advantage at the break.

Having gone into the second period just three points in arrears, Rob Baxter’s men appeared to have weathered the storm.

But it wasn’t to be as the Sharks continued to control proceedings and deservedly scored the first try through Cueto, after good work from the forwards and Cipriani.

Exeter hit back through a Steenson penalty but the home side extended their lead when an excellently worked move ended in their fly-half crossing the whitewash.

Everything seemed to be going awry for the Chiefs but they battled to secure a losing bonus point as, after Andrei Ostrikov was sin-binned, Waldrom touched down from close range.

Final Score Sale Sharks 18 (6) Exeter Chiefs 11 (3)


Sale Sharks
Tries – Cueto, Cipriani
Pen -Cipriani (2)
Con – Cipriani
Drop –

Exeter Chiefs
Tries – Waldrom
Pen – Steenson (2)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Wayne Barnes (145th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe and Kelvin Stewart.
TMO: Graham Hughes


Sale Sharks

Mike Haley, Will Addison, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Chris Cusiter, Eifion Lewis Roberts, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas, Jonathan Mills, Nathan Hines, Dan Braid (Captain), Magnus Lund, Josh Beaumont

Replacements: Shalva Mamukashvili, Ross Harrison, James Flynn, Andrei Ostrikov, David Seymour, Will Cliff, Joe Ford & Mark Jennings

Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman , 14 Jack Nowell , 13 Henry Slade , 12 Ian Whitten , 11 Matt Jess , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben White , 6 Dave Ewers , 5 Damian Welch , 4 Dean Mumm (capt) , 3 Moray Low, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie ,1 Ben Moon

Replacements : 16 Jack Yeandle , 17 Carl Rimmer , 18 Alex Brown , 19 Mitch Lees , 20 Kai Horstmann , 21 Haydn Thomas , 22 Sam Hill , 23 Adam Hughes

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