Aviva Premiership: Danny Cipriani inspires Sale Sharks to win over Newcastle Falcons
Last Updated: 30/11/14 9:08pm
A composed performance, interspersed with moments of brilliance, from Danny Cipriani helped Sale come from behind to record an 18-13 win over Newcastle and move into the Aviva Premiership top six.
Cipriani kicked eight points from the tee, but his most significant contribution with the boot came when he showed superb vision to chip into space and regather possession to set up Johnny Leota's match-winning try.
The Falcons took the lead with a well-taken try from centre Juan Pablo Socino, with the Argentinan cutting inside with a strong step to beat two tacklers and score with a solo effort, with Rory Clegg adding the conversion.
Leota supplied a looping pass to allow Dan Braid to cut the gap with a score out wide with a Sale try which needed the attentions of the Television Match Official before being awarded.
Clegg added a penalty after Mike Haley was harshly penalised for a high tackle on Socino, but Cipriani replied in kind for Sale to make it 10-8 to the hosts at the break.
In between the two penalties came a controversial decision with Leota believing he had scored for Sale only for referee Dean Richards - with the assistance of the TMO - to rule it out for a double movement.
A second Clegg penalty early in the second half stretched the Falcons' lead again only for Cipriani to again hit back for his side in a match between two evenly-matched sides.
But a moment of magic from Cipriani, who was left out of England's squad for the November internationals, ultimately proved the difference at Kingston park.
Replacement prop Alberto De Marchi started the move off deep in Sale territory, before Cipriani got his hands on the ball and raced upfield.
The 27-year-old looked up and saw the space in behind the Newcastle defence and caught his own kick ahead before passing to Mark Jennings, who released the supporting Leota to score.
Cipriani added the conversion but Newcastle - who did at least collect a losing bonus point - had only themselves to blame for their failure to get back into the game, twice knocking on inside the Sale 22 after periods of sustained pressure.