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Sale

  • Leota, Paterson, Thomas,
    Penalty goals: Cipriani,
    Conversions: Ford (2),
22 - 42

Leicester

  • Penalty, Flood (2), Goneva, Mele, Morris,
    Conversions: Williams (6),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 3rd May 2014
  • KO 15:15
  • Ground: The AJ Bell Stadium
  • Att: 10,092

Aviva Premiership: Leicester Tigers cement play-off with 42-22 win at Sale Sharks

Last updated: 3rd May 2014  

NIKI GONEVA LEICESTER TIGERS AVIVA PREMIER LEAGUE

Verenki Goneva: Scored his 12th try of the Premiership campaign to put Leicester in front

TOBY FLOOD LEICESTER TIGERS

Toby Flood: scored two tries as Leicester secured a play-off place

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Leicester Tigers secured an Aviva Premiership play-off berth with a 42-22 bonus-point victory that ended Sale Sharks' hopes of making the knockout stages.

Toby Flood scored twice while Vereniki Goneva, Niall Morris and David Mele all touched down as the defending champions clinched a top-four finish with a match to spare.

Fly-half Owen Williams converted a penalty try on the hour to take the game away from the Sharks, who produced a spirited comeback in the closing stages.

Three tries in 11 minutes from Michael Paterson, Henry Thomas and Johnny Leota were mere consolation for Sale, who were already guaranteed a place in next season's European Champions Cup.

A maximum points win sees Richard Cockerill's side cement a semi-final place for the 10th successive season after Bath played out a 19-19 stalemate with Northampton Saints at the Recreation Ground on Friday night.

Sale started brightly but they failed to make that early pressure count, and the Tigers quickly started to become the more dominant outfit.

A powerful drive from Logovi'i Mulipoli laid the platform for Williams to chip over the top and into the in-goal area.

England centre Manu Tuilagi looked favourite to score, but Goneva eventually pounced onto the ball just before it rolled into touch.

Response

The home side hit-back immediately after Danny Cipriani slotted over a penalty from range. Williams quickly had the chance to restore the Tigers seven point advantage, but failed to convert his own effort for three points.

The Tigers thought they had crossed again when Anthony Allen touched down following Morris' grubber, but the video referee chalked the score off for an earlier forward pass.

Two minutes before the break, Ben Youngs and Jordan Crane created an overlap out wide for Flood to score in the corner. Williams converted from the touchline to give the visitors a 14-3 lead at half time.

There was no sign of Leicester easing off after the interval, with Morris going over for their third score after being fed in by Williams' offload, with the fly-half then converting to make it 21-3.

Flood then got his second after being set up by Youngs, with Williams converting.

The England international could have even had a hat-trick, but was held up over the line. That did not deter the Tigers attack, though, they went over for a penalty try shortly after, with Williams converting.

The Sharks then staged a fight back, with three tries on the bounce. The first came from Paterson in the left corner after a looping pass from Sam Tuitupou, with Joe Ford adding the extras.

Henry Thomas then crossed on the back of a lineout, before Leota touched down a breakaway score shorty after. Ford added the extras for the latter.

The Tigers ensured they had the last laugh though, taking advantage of Sale being down to 14-men after Tom Arscott was sin-binned, by scoring a try from David Mele in the final play of the game, which Williams converted.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th December
Aviva Premiership
19:45Sale Sharks vs Exeter
Saturday 20th December
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
15:15Northampton vs Leicester Tigers
17:30Gloucester vs Bath
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester

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