Sharks show their teeth
Sale Sharks ended their poor recent run of home form with a 27-13 victory over Leicester Tigers at Edgeley Park.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 28/11/08 9:51pm
Sale Sharks ended their poor recent run of home form with a 27-13 victory over Leicester Tigers at Edgeley Park on Friday night.
Philippe Saint Andre's men had lost their last four games in all competitions on home turf, but they battled out a welcome victory to move them temporarily up into second place in the Guinness Premiership.
Early tries from Mark Cueto and Mathew Tait, and a Luke McAlister penalty, enabled Sale to open up a 17-0 lead, but a second half score from Aaron Mauger got the Tigers back to within seven.
Julian Dupuy's boot kept Leicester in contention as the game stayed on a knife-edged right until the last action of the game, when Rory Lamont's try sealed it for the Sharks.
Sale had the perfect start to the game after just ten minutes, when England winger Cueto showed a prime example of his blistering pace to gallop away for the opening try.
Cueto picked the ball up just inside his own half and race away for the remaining half of the field to touch down for the try, which was converted by McAlister.
Eight minutes later and a mass of Sale Sharks piled over the Leicester try-line, with Tait emerging as the scorer of the second try which, when converted, made it 14-0.
A 14-point lead for the home side became 17 on the half-hour mark, when McAlister sent another effort sailing between the posts to increase the Sharks' advantage.
The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard three minutes later when French scrum-half Dupuy kicked his first penalty of the night.
Trailing at half time, the Tigers got right back into the game seven minutes after the restart, after Mauger seized on a loose ball before slipping through a couple of tackles to scamper over from 12 yards.
McAlister booted over a 40-yard penalty to make the gap ten points again, but Leicester got to within a converted try with Dupuy replying with his boot just after the hour mark.
That kick made it 20-13 and the game was still in the balance in the closing stages as the tension started to mount.
With a lengthy period of added time being played, Sale finally sealed the result with Lamont's try coming in the final piece of action in the match, as the hosts finally won in front of their own fans.
McAlister converted to take his tally to 12 points on the night, with the 27-13 scoreline representing a confidence-boosting victory for the home side.