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Chris Hoddle
Rugby

Sale Jets 17-41 Wanderers: Six tries in Sale seals second Wandies win

Northampton Wanderers secured their second win of their Premiership Rugby Shield defence at Sale Jets, scoring six tries to take victory at Heywood Road.

First half crossings from Mitch Eadie, Fraser Dingwall and Ollie Sleightholme, coupled with a penalty and two conversions from James Grayson got the double reigning champions off to a great start at Heywood Road. 

But a try either sided of half-time kept Sale in it before another score from the hosts got them within a score. But tries from Connor Tupai, Andrew Kellaway and another for Sleightholme sealed the win for the away side.

Wanderers wasted no time getting things going and after earning a scrum at the kick-off, continued to barge their way through until Eadie could find a gap. The number eight sprinted in the finish the job before Grayson added the extras.

Three more good attacking efforts got Wanderers close, first through Gray and a driving maul, then Kellaway and a crossfield kick and Ratuniyarawa and some strong phase play, but it was to be a Grayson penalty that put the next points on the board.

But with the momentum behind them, Wanderers converted their attacking play into yet more points not long after. The forwards got close through another lineout drive before Dingwall finished the job.

Not content with their lead, Wanderers pushed on and it was to be a fantastic piece of solo work from Sleightholme that got the away side their next score. The wing broke on the halfway line, dancing round five defenders before dotting down in the corner. 

The heavens opened as Sale made their first visit to Wanderer’s 22 around the half hour mark but solid defence from the away side saw them regain the ball and clear downfield. 

The hosts’ pressure paid off eventually though and earning a lineout on Wanderer’s five metre line, Curtis Langdon went alone and drove over for the score. 

The momentum stayed with the home side after the break and just five minutes into the second half Sale sent Tom Ailes over, Kieran Wilkinson adding the extras to bring the game back within ten.

And the hosts would get within five minutes later as an interception within their own 22 got them back on the front foot. Sale would whip the ball wide where a gap opened for Lex Botha to cross on the wing. 

But Wanderers got straight back on the offensive and it was just minutes after entering play that Tupai was over the line after rounding the back of a lineout. It was not long before Wanderers were over again, this time through debutant Kellaway - the flying wing shooting in from 30 metres out to score in the corner on his Northampton debut.

The final try of the night was to be a second for Sleightholme. The winger sniped over from close range with the final play and Grayson wasted no time adding the extras to call time on things at Heywood Road. 

Sale Jets: Pope; Roebuck, Doherty, James, Odogwu; Wilkinson, Sturgess; Blanchard, Langdon, Ford, Mandizha, Nott (c), Dugdale, Leatherbarrow, Booth
Replacements: Ashman, Kelly, Harper, Ailes, Wara, Warr, Botha, Bingham

Wanderers: Furbank; Sleightholme, Kellaway, Dingwall, Tuitavake; Grayson, Mitchell; Van Wyk, Gray, Ford-Robinson, Moon, Ratuniyarawa, Ryan, Ludlam (c), Eadie
Replacements: Ma’asi, Davis, Garside, Onojaife, Wallace, Tupai, Strachan, Emery