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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: 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 September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish

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