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Leicester

  • Penalty, Slater, Thompstone,
    Penalty goals: Williams (3),
    Conversions: Williams (3),
30 - 23

Sale

  • Cueto, Ingall,
    Penalty goals: Macleod (2), Ford,
    Conversions: Macleod (2),

Aviva Premiership: Leicester withstand Sale fightback to record 30-23 win

Last updated: 28th December 2013  

Mark Cueto Sale Sharks Leicester Tigers

Mark Cueto of Sale Sharks stretches to score his side's first try

Adam Thompstone Leicester Sale Sharks Charlie Ingall

Adam Thompstone of Leicester Tigers scores as he is tackled by Charlie Ingall of Sale Sharks

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Leicester withstood a fierce second-half fightback from Sale to secure a hard-fought 30-23 Aviva Premiership victory over the Sharks at Welford Road.

The Tigers looked on course for a resounding home win as they went in 20-6 to the good at the interval after two early tries, while young Welsh fly-half Owen Williams - who eventually finished with 15 points - produced a faultless kicking display.

However, Sale hit back after the break with two tries of their own and a late penalty by replacement Joe Ford earned them a losing bonus-point.

Williams, who signed from the Scarlets last summer, started in place of the injured Toby Flood and demonstrated he could be the one to replace the France-bound fly-half long-term by making a sparkling start to his ninth appearance for the Tigers.

The 21-year-old was at the heart of all the good work that earned them a 10-0 lead after 12 minutes, and was heavily involved in a brilliant fourth minute try.

His chip over halfway was caught by Dan Bowden and, after Thomas Waldrom had bulldozed his way into the 22, Williams popped up to provide the scoring pass for lock Ed Slater.

Williams converted and then kicked a penalty before being on the receiving end of a scuffle with Sale centre Sammy Tuitupou, who was sin-binned by referee Ashley Rowden after he had consulted the TMO.

The TMO was involved again two minutes later, this time awarding a try to Leicester winger Adam Thompstone who scored from a long miss-pass by Bowden.

In control

Williams had the crowd roaring after a superb conversion from the left touchline made it 17-0, which became 17-3 when Sale fly-half Nick Macleod slotted an easy penalty.

Thompstone should have had a second after being put away by Williams but spilled the ball in the tackle near the line before Williams made it 20-3 in the 35th minute with an easy penalty.

Sale finally managed to exert some pressure with a few minutes of the half left. They refused three kickable penalties in favour of going for a try but failed to dent the Tigers defence and had to settle for a penalty by Macleod from the left touchline deep into overtime.

Williams stretched Leicester's lead four minutes after the interval with a penalty from in front of the posts and, after full-back Rob Miller had missed a long-range penalty for Sale, Cueto scored an impressive try after scrum-half Dwayne Peel had sparked the attack with a clever switch of direction.

Macleod kicked the conversion from the right touchline to give hope to Sale, who withstood some fierce pressure from the Tigers just before the hour mark.

And they got their reward for that stout defence when winger Charlie Ingall finished off a great move started by flanker James Gaskell, who split the Tigers defence wide open with a blistering break.

Macleod again kicked the conversion from the right touchline to put Sale within three points of their hosts.

But the forwards put the Tigers back in control when they earned a penalty try from a sixth successive scrum on the Sale line. Williams converted but Ford kicked a long-range penalty for Sale three minutes later to earn some reward for their efforts.

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Aviva Premiership Table

Aviva Premiership Table - July 9 2014
Pos Team P Pts
10 Sale Sharks 0 0
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
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

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Phil Edwards

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