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SALE 10 WANDERERS 34 Play-off fate remains in Wandies’ hands

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Wanderers kept their Aviva ‘A’ League hopes very much in their own hands with a hard-earned win over the Jets at Haywood Road.

Five tries did the damage on a crisp Sale evening, meaning victory over Worcester would guarantee a semi-final berth and also top spot in the Northern Conference following Gloucester's defeat to Newcastle.

Sale were seeing much more of the ball early doors, but met by a wall of grey they had nowhere to go and two injections of pace from the Wandies, the first to get the ball wide and the second a quickly taken penalty from Tom Kessell, drew a yellow card from the hosts.

JJ Hanrahan knocked over the points to give the Wanderers the lead and while the ball again found its way back into navy and white hands, again no room was afforded to the Jets on halfway.

Instead, Rory Hutchinson hacked forward a dropped ball and when Alex Moon stole the lineout, the Wanderers won themselves a penalty, kicked to the corner and eventually worked space for Ben Nutley to crash over in the opposite corner.

Hanrahan’s slip saw the conversion thump back off a post, but while Sale returned to a full contingent, the damage had been done.

Momentum was now with the Wandies and when Tom Collins spotted a dog leg in the home defence, he had the pace to exploit it and slip Hutchinson under the posts for a blistering score.

Despite the deficit, the Jets were still seeing their fair share of the ball and when a maul crept it’s way close to the try line, Viliami Fihaki powered round the side to slam down.

The points importantly gave them something to take into half-time and a belief they returned with, too. A slow opening 10 after the break finally came to an end when a huge maul carried the Sale pack up to and over the line.

A missed conversion left the Wanderers with some breathing space though and the gap was soon back to a more comfortable 10 points when Kessell sneaked down the blindside of a ruck to register number three.

The visitors' tails were now back up and the bonus point try closed out the game out six minutes from time after a huge maul wrapped carried Nutley through for his second of the night.

There was more to come, Collins again picking up the ball in plenty of space and rounding replacement hooker Stagg with ease to put the icing on a well deserved cake.

TIMELINE
9mins SALE Yellow Flynn
10mins WAND Pen Hanrahan 0-3
20mins WAND Try Nutley 0-8
26mins WAND Try Hutchinson Con Hanrahan 0-15
29mins SALE Try Fihaki 5-15
HALF-TIME SALE 5 WANDERERS 15
51mins SALE Try 10-15
58mins WAND Try Kessell 10-20
74mins WAND Try Nutley Con Olver 10-27
79mins WAND Try Collins Con Olver 10-34
FULL-TIME SALE 10 WAND 34

SALE Jeffers; O’Donnell, Edwards, Bedlow, Ingall; Morton, Dever; Flynn, Matthews, Parker, Nott, Postlethwaite, Rogerson Hughes (capt), Fihaki

Stagg, Pope, Ferreira, Sanders, Parfitt, Connolly, Bailey, Squirrel

WANDERERS Wilson; Collins, Hutchinson, Olver, Elliott; Hanrahan, Kessell; E Waller, Marshall, Denman, Moon, Onojaife, Williams, Nutley, Bennett

Fish, Beesley, Parkins, Peters, Tiki Harrison, Duchesne, Furbank, Packman