Sharks travelled to Welford Road to play Leicester Tigers hoping to bounce back following the 21-30 defeat at home to Harlequins last Friday. The last time the Sharks had won at the Tigers was in February 2008 with a last minute Chabal try. Tigers were having a lean time by their high standards and had only won one of their last four games.
Tom Croft caught the kick off from George Ford and Tigers built pressure. Sharks conceded a first minute penalty which Ford converted to give the home side a 3-0 lead
Frantic play from both sides almost ended with a Tigers try but referee Barnes calls a forward pass from Croft as he put Thompstone clear.
12 Hawkins crossed the Sharks line on 12 minutes but referee Barnes disallowed it for a knock on. Sharks cleared their lines but only as far as the 22 metre line.
It took Sharks time to settle and Dan Braid was the first to penetrate the Tigers defence on 20 mins when Sharks made it into Tigers 22. The attack petered out but Sharks had pegged Tigers back near their own line.
On 24 minutes Sharks did well to hold Thompstone up over the line and it must be said Sharks were doing well to hold out the Tigers. Two minutes later the Tigers finally scored a try through Ed Slater after sustained pressure and George Ford converted 10-0.
Sharks got on the scoreboard on 31 minutes when from half way Nick Macleod put in a towering kick to land his 14th penalty of the season 10-3. It was short lived though as Sharks concede a penalty on 20 metres and George Ford kicks it no problem 13-3.
Referee Barnes awarded a penalty try to Tigers on 35 minutes when Brady tackled Thompstone without the ball and George Ford converted 20-3. Worse still Brady was binned for the offence.
Sharks tried in vain to try and reduce the arrears but on the stroke of half time Ed Slater picked up the ball 40 metres out and ran through the defence to score wide out. Ford converted and Sharks left the field with a mountain to climb after the break
Half Time Leicester Tigers 27 Sale Sharks 3
Sale Sharks had a short half time break and were back on the field well before the Tigers. Sale made two quick replacements with Powell and Gray on for Vernon and McKenzie.
Tigers scored their 4th try on 49 minutes when Matt Smith finished a Ford creation by touching down in the corner. Ford converted an Sharks were struggling at 34-3 down.
Cipriani, Fowles and Taylor were brought on for Macleod,Willis and Jones as Sharks tried to salvage their pride.
Matt Smith had other ideas though as he sliced through the Sharks defence on 53 minutes for his second try in 4 minutes. Ford converted again to give Tigers a 41-3 lead
David Seymour made a big break down the middle but lacked support and Tigers were soon on the attack again.
Sharks replacements held firm for a short while but Tigers scored again through Matt Tait on 67 mins and Ford's conversion made it 48-3 and this try made it Sharks biggest Aviva defeat of the season. Jordan Davies who had earlier replaced Tuitupou hobbled off so Sharks had to play on with just 14 men.
Sharks did get a try in the final minute. Referee Barnes gave Sharks 5 penalties back to back and Powell broke from the back of scrum to touch down. Cipriani converted but the scoreboard on the final whistle read
Full Time Leicester Tigers 48 Sale Sharks 10
Cameron Shepherd, Tom Brady, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou (off 60mins), Mark Jennings, Nick Macleod (off 50mins), Cillian Willis (off 50mins), Ross Harrison (off 58mins), Marc Jones (off 50mins), Henry Thomas (off 58mins), James Gaskell, Fraser McKenzie (off 45mins), Dan Braid, David Seymour (capt.), Richie Vernon (off 44mins)
Replacements: Tommy Taylor (on for Jones 50mins), Vadim Cobilas (on for Harrison 58mins), Tony Buckley (on for Thomas 58mins), Richie Gray (on for McKenzie 45mins), Andy Powell (on for Vernon 44mins), Nathan Fowles (on for Willis 50mins), Danny Cipriani (on for Macleod 50mins), Jordan Davies (on for Tuitupou 60mins)
Scoring Sequence (Tigers first): 3-0, 8-0, 10-0, 10-3, 13-3, 18-3, 20-3, 25-3, 27-3 (Half Time) 32-3, 34-3, 39-3, 41-3, 46-3, 48-3, 48-8, 48-10
|Leicester Tigers Score Card|
|Sale Sharks Score Card|