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SALE 19 SAINTS 6 As it happened

Saints were afforded little space in Salford © Getty Images

Match Report SALE 19 SAINTS 6 As it happened

An 11-game winning run in the Aviva Premiership came to a halt as the Saints were denied by a spirited defensive effort from Sale and three first half tries for the visitors.

KO
Still some drizzle in the air, Will Hooley gets the game underway...
SALE 0 SAINTS 0

1min
Great nudge from Hooley with his first touch. The fly half pins Sale onto their own 5m line and the pressure is on Cipriani. An equally solid kick from the home 10 though and Saints will throw in on the 10m line.
SALE 0 SAINTS 0

3mins
Wilson sits down Leota with a big carry and while Braid gets over the ball, he hasn't released after his tackle. First chance for Hooley to eye up the posts and while it's not an easy kick with the breeze swirling, it's a good enough kick.
SALE 0 SAINTS 3

5mins
Poor restart from Cipriani who lumps out on the full. Well judged by Elliott and the incredibly solid scrum that follows means Saints attack with ball in hand.
SALE 0 SAINTS 3

7mins
Poor restart from Cipriani who lumps out on the full. Well judged by Elliott and the incredibly solid scrum that follows means Saints attack with ball in hand.
SALE 0 SAINTS 3

8mins
Sale try. Scintillating stuff from Peel, who ducks and weaves his way out of his own 22 wand all the way up to the Saints’. An overlap is almost wasted when a pass goes to ground on the left but Leota picks up beautifully and Cueto beats the cover to the corner. Cipriani converts.
SALE 7 SAINTS 3

11mins
Saints cough up possession on halfway and the Sharks again waste no time getting it wide. This time the lime line drifts comfortably though and North bundles Brady into touch. Bright start from the home side though.
SALE 7 SAINTS 3

14mins
Cipriani seems to knock on picking up a low pass but while there’s now scrum for the Saints, they’ll take the penalty at the very next breakdown as Sale dive off their feet. Lineout lost though on the Sharks’ 22 and the clearance is good enough.
SALE 7 SAINTS 3

18mins
Dickson is snagged by Braid and a knock on gives the ball back to the Sharks. Not for long though, Arsott’s kick a horrible slice and the Saints drive into the home 22. Heavy duty carry from Lawes but as Wilson pierces a half gap, he can’t free his arms for an offload and Sale wrap the centre up for a penalty.
SALE 7 SAINTS 3

20mins
Not the best kick to touch from Cipriani and Saints almost pinch Jones’ throw before knocking on. Frustrating opening quarter as the Saints look to work their way into the game.
SALE 7 SAINTS 3

23mins
Error from Sale in midfield. Cipriani is hobbling and doesn’t want the ball but the pass thrown to Mills instead is forwards. Scrum down, penalty Saints and Hooley clouts it over.
SALE 7 SAINTS 6

25mins
Lawes is really getting stuck into the Sae lineout and his pressure forces another turnover. The hosts scramble and shutdown any hopes of a counter though, winning a penalty for good measure. Cipriani lines it up from 40m out but it curls wide left.
SALE 7 SAINTS 6

28mins
Daft penalty conceded by Paterson who pulls Wood down in the lineout. Saints get it wide, North using Brady as a speedbump and Hooley then cuts a beautiful line through the Sharks. Unfortunately, support isn’t on the scene quick enough to take advantage and a couple of phases later the ball is wrapped up in a maul. Sale scrum.
SALE 7 SAINTS 6

30mins
Huge stroke of luck for Arscott, whose awful kick bounces in midfield and straight back into his own grateful arms. Wilson goes in high on Cueto and this time Cipriani turns down the posts to go to the corner.
SALE 7 SAINTS 6

32mins
Saints get to the ball in the lineout drive but according to referee Pearce they also pull it down illegally. This penalty is right in the corner and while Saints are defending the fringes well, it’s not enough to stop Jones shoving his way over.
SALE 12 SAINTS 6

34mins
TMO is getting involved, not for the try but for a scuffle in the aftermath. Hartley and Tuitupou are shown yellow cards for their part in the melee while Cipriani swings another kick wide.
SALE 12 SAINTS 6

35mins
Unclear what happened on the Saints’ try line, but whatever the case Sale waste a penalty restart with a wonky throw in the lineout. Haywood on to deputise for Hartley in the scrum.
SALE 12 SAINTS 6

38mins
It's the hosts making the most of the extra space on the park, Arscott and Brady making ground on the right. Wood takes Cuto high in midfield but with advantage being played Cipriani dribbles a kick through and winger Brady scoops up for number three.
SALE 17 SAINTS 6

HT
This time Cipriani judges the elements well and bends the extras between the posts. Time up and Sale have a handy half-time lead.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

HT
An even game in terms of possession and territory, but it’s Sale finding all the spaces at the minute. They’ve also been clinical with the chances they have created and it will be a big ask for the Saints to overturn a 13-point deficit. First score after the break will be crucial
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

40mins
Game back underway and so is the rain. Big 40 upcoming for the Saints…
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

42mins
Pressure on already. Cipriani plays for territory, Saints’ lineout is not straight and Sale have a scrum 15m out from the line.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

43mins
Luckily, Waller is getting the better of Cobilas on the Saints’ loose head side. Penalty and Hooley clips almost up to halfway. Hartley and Tuituopu return, meaning so does Wilson for the Saints.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

45mins
Another penalty when Sale go in at the side and Hooley clips a blinder into the Sale 22 from a narrow angle. Saints go to the maul and it’s a call that pays dividends as they rumble within touching distance of the Sale line. Defenders manage to wrestle their way to the ball though and when the pill gets stuck, it’s a 5m scrum for Sale.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

48mins
Pressure on Gaskell at the base and Peel’s clearance doesn’t make it out of the 22. Saints hit it up through van Velze and Wood but Ma’afu clears out Mills illegally and concedes a penalty. Building pressure is relieved.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

50mins
Time for change on the Saints side. Dowson, Fotuali’i and Pisi stripped off with Clark, Dickson and Wilson departing. Saints searching for a little more creativity perhaps?
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

51mins
What starts off looking like a good kick forward from Brady ends up being an unfortunate one. It bobbles all the way downfield and through the deadball area. Saints scrum on the 10m line as Mercey replaces Ma’afu.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

53mins
Saints drive straight through the Sale eight and a penalty allows Hooley to kick into the danger zone once more. They’re going to have to make the most of one of these chances.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

54mins
Play moves ever closer to the Sale line and when Gaskell elects not to roll away, referee Pearce decides it’s time for finals words with skipper Braid. Hooley to the corner and you’d expect it to be maul time.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

55mins
Patient stuff from the Saints but while Elliott goes close, when plays spreads left possession is turned over.Sale don’t make the most of their chance to clear and after hitting it up knock on. Saints attack again 5m out.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

57mins
A pass to Hooley is just a tad scrappy and while the fly half doesn’t knock on, his improvised offload is deemed forward. Scrum Sale, but still just metres from their own line.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

58mins
There’s just no way through for the men in lime, even after Burrell retrieves the ball from the deck and the forwards drive at the line. Little space for the backs either when the ball comes back and Burrell is wrapped up for a maul scrum. Impressive line speed from Sale.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

59mins
Saints are dominating, no doubt, but at some point that pressure needs to be turned into points. Cipriani takes play the furthest it has been upfield for some 15mins with his clearing kick.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

62mins
A little fortune for the Saints. While Sale legally kick the ball out of a ruck, the men who regather are offside and Hooley kicks a penalty up to the 22. North now in off his wing looking for work but there’s a nudge forward on the deck. Sale scrum, another attacking chance gone.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

65mins
Again it’s a Saints penalty against the head and again Hooley puts Saints 5m from the try line.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

66mins
Another maul comes to nothing and when Saints are forced back, Burrell takes his eye off a high pass. Sale are defending their line admirably here and at the moment, they’re getting their reward.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

68mins
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, Sale have a chance to get their hands on the ball, Cipriani with a penalty to touch and Thomas in the right place to cling on to a loose lineout. Saints counter an Arscott kick but while Burrell’s break is sharp, handling between the forwards isn’t and possession is coughed up.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

70mins
Poor kick from Arscott goes out on the full but Saints go off their feet after the lineout at the cost of a penalty. Game starting to slip away from the visitors.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

74mins
Hooley kicks forward, Sale knock on and the ball is picked up by an offside man. Another lineout in the redzone and perhaps the Saints’ last chance to revive this game.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

76mins
No go. Another crucial block of defence by the hosts under their own sticks and they follow it up with a penalty as the Saints work backwards looking for space.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

77mins
It’s now a case of whether the Saints can get anything out of this game at all. Sale are into the 22 for the very first time in the half with a Cipriani penalty and the way things have gone today, they may well be sniffing a bonus point.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

79mins
Not this time and a scrum penalty is tapped quickly by the Saints, who have a long way to go upfield. A knock on concedes possession and that’s as good as full time.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

80mins
One last chance as the scrum goes against the head but a pair of knock ons brings an end to a damp squib of a game for the Saints.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

FT
Effort not the issue for the Saints, who enjoyed upward of 80% of the territory and possession after the break. Unfortunately, execution was and it’s a fruitless trip back down the M6 for the Saints. Work to be done ahead of next Saturday’s east midlands derby.
SALE 19 SAINTS 6

TIMELINE
4mins SAINTS Pen Hooley 0-3
8mins SALE Try Cueto Con Cipriani 7-3
24mins SAINTS Pen Hooley 7-6
26mins SALE Miss pen Cipriani
34mins SALE Try Jones 12-6
34mins SAINTS Yellow Hartley
34mins SALE Yellow Tuitupou
38mins SALE Try Brady Con Cipriani 19-6
HALF-TIME SALE 19 SAINTS 6
FULL-TIME SALE 19 SAINTS 6


SALE: Arscott; Brady, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto; Cipriani, Peel; Lewis Roberts, Jones, Cobilas, Mills, Paterson, Braid (capt), Seymour, Gaskell

Reps: Croall, Harrison, Thomas, Ostrikov, Easter, Cliff, Macleod, Miller

SAINTS: Foden; Elliott, Wilson, Burrell, North; Hooley, L Dickson; A Waller, Hartley (capt), Ma’afu, Lawes, Day, Clark, Wood, van Velze

Reps: Haywood, Denman, Mercey, Craig, Dowson, Fotuali’i, G Dickson, G Pisi

Referee: Luke Pearce

Att: 5,847

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