Sale Sharks missed out on qualification to the Premiership Rugby 7s Final Days after losing their three group games in Group D at the Darlington Arena on Saturday evening.
The first game of the evening for Sale was against newly-promoted London Welsh, and it was London Welsh who managed to squeeze out the victory over Sale winning 15-14.
It was Welsh who got off to the better of the starts and they scored following a few good phases and Chris Egerton went over and to score a try. They failed to convert it so it made the scores 5-0 after 2minutes. The Sharks fought straight back though, after a tap penalty was taken quickly, Mark Lawrence ran up the right wing, and delayed the pass to Nathan Fowles who sped his way over the try line to score. It was Lawrence who converted superbly from the touchline to make it 5-7. The Sharks were on the up now, and it was them who took the half-time lead, through Sam Bedlow. Nathan Fowles pounced on a loose ball in the Welsh 22, and passed it to Bedlow who powered his way over.
It was all Welsh after the half-time interval however, and after El Mahdi was sin-binned, Jamel Chisholm took advantage and scored on the left wing with the one man advantage. Sharks tried to fight back, but couldn't get out of their own half, and it was that man Chisholm who was the Sharks menace once again, after he outgassed Tim Jeffers on the left wing, ran around him and scored the winning try near the posts to give Welsh the perfect winning start. But, the Sharks gained a losing bonus point but had a lot to work on for the next two games . Game 2
The Sharks knew that if they lost their next game against Newcastle Falcons, they would be out of the tournament with one game to play. And it was the hosts who came out better, winning 27-7.
The Falcons were much the better side throughout, despite Sale having the first half chance with Tahir El Mahdi bundled into touch by the Falcons defence. But soon after, it was all Falcons. Simon Hattersley and Lee Smith score two quick tries, unconverted, which took the wind out of the Sharks sails. The last chance of the half fell to John O'Donnell, who chased an overhit Sam Bedlow kick and out of play.
A big half was needed for the Sharks, but it was Falcons who went over and scored soon after the restart through Ben Morris. Again it was unconverted. There was something to cheer though, soon after, as Nathan Fowles scored a try after taking a quick tap penalty. He converted it himself to make the scores 15-7. However, Newcastle Falcons had the final say, through tries from Brian Tuilagi and Chris Harris. Game 3
Sale had to recover quickly, as they were in back to back games to play Leicester Tigers . The Tigers took full advantage and won 31-12
It was Sale who got off to the better start following through a George Beal try. This was after good offloads from James Mitchell and Nathan Fowles. The conversion was missed to make it 5-0 after 2minutes. Tigers fought back though through a superb score from George Tressider who went under the posts. However, what Leicester did, Sale could equal and they scored an equally good try when Nathan Fowles crossed the whitewash. Mark Lawrence converted it, and it looked like the Sharks would take a lead into the half-time interval, but Tigers captain George Catchpole scored an individual effort under the posts. It was 12-14 at the break.
It was a scrappy start to the second half with both teams feeling the heat, but Tigers coped better with the conditions and scored two final tries to seal a bonus point win
Sale Sharks 7s: Liam Parfitt, Tahir El Mahdi, John O'Donnell, James Mitchell, Tim Jeffers, Ciaran Parker, George Nott, Tom Bell, Nathan Fowles (capt.), Sam Bedlow, Mark Lawrence, George Beal The brand new season is just around the corner. Have you got your season ticket yet? We have some great deals available for the forthcoming season. We have a few prime seats left in both the East and West Stands, and we also have a Direct Debit facility available. If you would like more information please call 08444-994-994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back. Here are the fixtures for the new season http://www.salesharks.com/rugby/matchcentre/fixtures.php