Harlequins have had a good run of results against Sale Sharks in recent seasons including the last time they met, at Sixways in the LV=Cup Final in March when Quins won 32-14.
Sharks were without Michael Paterson who had a knee injury but the recent good run of results encouraged a big following from the North West to act as the '16th Man'. The club are actively encouraging the fans to play their part both home and away as the vocal support is vital for the team.
Sale were soon on the defensive after a Cipriani clearance was charged down. Quins mounted a series of raids on the Sharks line. From a lineout near the Sharks line the Quins crashed over and referee Pearce referred it to the TMO for a decision. The TMO said Peel had held up Nick Easter over the line.
Sharks finally got out of their own 22 for the first time after six minutes when Cipriani put the ball into touch. Sale managed to build up some momentum of their own making valuable metres into Quins territory.
17 minutes into the game came the first real opportunity to break the deadlock when Cipriani was penalised. Ben Botica kicked the penalty 3-0.
Cipriani was doing a good job in defence putting in his tackles and had the opportunity to shine going forward to.
24 mins play was held up whilst David Seymour received treatment for a leg injury. Sharks had been awarded a penalty 35 metres out and Cipriani kicked it between the posts to level the scores at 3-3.
Ben Botica restored Quins lead a minute later with a well struck penalty after Dan Braid was penalised at the ruck. 6-3
Territory wise Harlequins had had the majority of field position and it was a tribute to Sharks defence that they hadn't breached.
Play was held up on 34 minutes whilst Tom Guest of Harlequins received lengthy treatment. Sadly he had to leave the field on a stretcher with a neck brace.
On 36 minutes Harlequins were awarded another penalty 30 metres out which Botica kicked easily 9-3.
Half Time Harlequins 9 Sale Sharks 3
The fans at half time were 'treated' to a man on the public address system who really did love the sound of his own voice.
Sale playing with the wind at their backs in the second half made a substitution with Will Cliff replacing Dwayne Peel who took a knock in the first half.
Sale built up early pressure but Quins defence held firm and former Sharks player David Ward started a move that resulted in Luke Wallace touching down in the corner. Botica missed the conversion but the home side led 14-3.
Sharks began to ring the changes to freshen things up and to try and get a foothold in the game.
Quins were now in control and Mark Cueto was penalised for taking out Wallace without the ball. From the penalty, Botica increased the lead to 17-3.
Quins more or less sealed the game on 68 minutes when Joe Ford had a kick charged down by Jack Clifford who gathered the ball and scooted in for a try. Botica converted and the home side led 24-3. A lead they kept to the end.
Final Score Harlequins 24 Sale Sharks 3
Rob Miller (off 50-57mins), Tom Arscott, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel (off 40mins), Eifion Lewis Roberts, Tommy Taylor, Henry Thomas, Jonathan Mills, Andrei Ostrikov (off 64mins), Dan Braid, David Seymour, Mark Easter (off 50mins)
Replacements: Marc Jones (on for Taylor55mins), Ross Harrison (on for Lewis Roberts 55mins), Vadim Cobilas (on for Thomas 55mins), Kirill Kulemin (on for Easter 50mins), Tom Holmes (on for Ostriikov 64mins), Will Cliff (on for Peel 40mins), Joe Ford (on for Cipriani 55mins), Andy Forsyth (on for Miller 50-57mins)
Scoring Sequence (Quins first): 3-0, 3-3, 6-3, 9-3 (Half Time) 14-3, 17-3, 22-3, 24-3 (Full Time)
Sale Sharks next home game is on Friday 1st November against Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership kick off 8pm. Sharks have won 9/12 games at the AJ Bell Stadium in 2013. Tickets are available by phoning 08444-994-994. You can also book online at http://www.salesharks.com/tickets/individual.php or request a callback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
|Harlequins Score Card|
|Sale Sharks Score Card|