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  • Macleod, Leota,
    Penalty goals: Macleod, Cipriani (2),
    Conversions: Macleod,
21 - 9

London Irish


  • Penalty goals: Humphreys (3),

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks beat London Irish to end seven-game losing streak

Last updated: 3rd November 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sale Sharks Danny Cipriani l with Cillian Willis

Sale fly-half Danny Cipriani talks tactics with scrum-half Cillian Willis

Sale prop Ross Harrison

Sale prop Ross Harrison breaks through a tackle

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Sale claimed their first Aviva Premiership win of the season at the eighth attempt as they beat London Irish 21-9 at City of Salford Stadium.

The Sharks were deserved winners after scoring the only two tries of the night in the first half through Nick Macleod and Johnny Leota, and while they remain bottom of the table, victory moves them to within four points of the Irish and Welsh Exiles.

Former England fly-half Danny Cipriani played a key role for Sale, setting up both first-half tries, as well as adding a conversion. Irish's response before the break came through a penalty from Ian Humphreys.

Humphreys kicked two more three-pointers in the second period to reduce the deficit, but two late Cipriani penalties sealed the victory.

Despite a nervy opening, solid set-piece work allowed the Sharks to gain a foothold in the match and after they had stolen an Irish lineout, the Sharks drove impressively and forced Irish to infringe, with Macleod edging the home team ahead with eight minutes gone.

It seemed to settle them down and they added to that lead soon after when fly-half Cipriani sent the full-back over.

London Irish did reduce the arrears when Humphreys kicked three points, but it was the Sharks who continued to threaten when Leota charged through the defensive line.

Although nothing came of that, it was not long before the Samoan outside centre was crossing the try-line. Cipriani was again the creator, as the stand-off's wonderfully delayed pass sent Leota through a gap and he shrugged off two would-be tacklers before touching down.

Cipriani converted to extend the advantage to a deserved 15-3 at half-time, but with a team that was so low on confidence, it was never a comfortable lead, especially when Humphreys ate into it just after the interval with a second three-pointer.

After Humphreys had broken the gain-line, Sale conceded another penalty which the fly-half duly converted. But as Irish pressed for more, the hosts remained composed and Cipriani sealed the victory with successive penalties from the tee.

Tumultuous

Those late kicks also denied Sale's fellow strugglers a losing bonus point which may prove crucial in the relegation battle.

Victory was the perfect way to end a tumultuous week for the former champions, after the removal of Bryan Redpath as director of rugby.

Redpath was then installed as head coach on Wednesday, with chief executive Steve Diamond putting himself in charge of first-team duties.

On this evidence it is a move that has paid dividends just in time to give Sale realistic hope of salvaging their season - and their place in the top flight.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st September
Aviva Premiership
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
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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