Sharks were smarting after losing out to Bath last week with the final play of the game and Director of Rugby Steve Diamond made ten changes as he rotated the squad. Back from injury were Will Addison and James Gaskell and new signing Viliami Fihaki was named amongst the replacements. Sharks were also keen to stop a losing sequence having lost their last 3 games.
The game was selected for a Friday night as England were playing New Zealand over the road at Twickenham the following day.
The game kicked off in dry conditions but a chilly 4 degrees centigrade. Sharks were soon on the attack when Michael Paterson turned a Quins line out on the half way line.
Quins were first on the scoreboard however when Ben Botica scored in the corner and converted his own try 0-7.
Quins kept applying the pressure and could have gone further ahead on 14 minutes but for a try saving tackle by young full back Mike Haley on Luke Wallace.
On 17 minutes Sharks finally relived the pressure with a penalty kicked into the Quins 22. From the line out Sale set up a driving maul and David Seymour scored a try. Macleod converts it and Sharks are back in it 7-7.
Five minutes later Tom Brady made a break and was tackled 15 metres out. Quins were penalised for not releasing and Nick Macleod put Sharks ahead from the penalty 10-7.
On 27 minutes Quins had their captain Luke Wallace sin binned for collapsing the driving maul by referee Ian Tempest.Quins tried damage limitation in their skippers absence but on 33 minutes Rob Miller scored a great try for Sale to increase the lead and Nick Macleod converted to give Sale a 17-7 lead.
Ben Botica reduced the arrears on the stroke of half time with a penalty
Half Time Harlequins 10 Sale Sharks 17
Quins came out desperate to salvage their LV=Cup campaign as holders and Ben Botica reduced the arrears to four with a 30 metre penalty on 43 minutes 17-13.
The Sale travelling faithful were making themselves heard in the North Stand by playing their part as the 16th man.
The fans were rewarded on 47 minutes when a Sale line out on quins 10 m line was won and the forwards mauled over the line. James Gaskell appeared with the ball to claim the try. Macleod converted to give Sharks a 24-13 lead. The hunt was now on for the bonus point try.
Quins were not finished though, they made four substitutions and on 52 minutes Charlie Walker scored a try which Botica converted 24-20.
Sharks new signing Viliami Fahiki replaced James Gaskell before the game restarted. Danny Cipriani also entered the fray and replaced Will Addison.
On 57 minutes Dickson, busy as ever made a break but was well covered by the Sharks defence. Quins were penalised for not releasing and a scuffle broke out between the players but soon ended.
On 62 minutes Sale suffered a blow when new signing Fihaki was sin bind by the referee for an infringement at the ruck. From the resultant penalty Botica reduced the arrears to a single point 24-23.
On 68 minutes Danny Cipriani scored a try from the base of the scrum, Macleod converts and Sharks, down to 14 men have secured a try bonus point! 31-23
On 72 minutes Botica reduced the arrears yet again with a 35 metre penalty to set up a grandstand finish 31-26.
Final Score Harlequins 26 Sale Sharks 31
Mike Haley, Tom Brady (off 72mins), Will Addison (off 56mins), Mark Jennings, Rob Miller, Nick Macleod, Dwayne Peel (off 68mins), Eifion Lewis Roberts (off 58mins), Tommy Taylor (off 58mins), Henry Thomas (off 72mins), Jonathan Mills (off 65mins), Michael Paterson, James Gaskell (off 53mins), David Seymour, Mark Easter
Replacements: Marc Jones (on for Taylor 58mins), Ross Harrison (on for Roberts 58mns), Tony Buckley (on for Thomas 72mins), Andrei Ostrikov (on for Mills 65mins), Viliami Fihaki (on for Gaskell 53mins), Will Cliff (on for Peel 68mins), Danny Cipriani (on for Addison 56mins), Charlie Ingall (on for Brady 72mins)
Scoring Sequence (Quins first): 5-0, 7-0, 7-5, 7-7, 7-10, 7-15, 7-17, 10-17 (Half Time) 13-17, 13-22, 13-24, 18-24, 20-24, 23-24, 23-29, 23-31, 26-31
Sale Sharks next home game at the AJ Bell Stadium is next Friday, 22nd November 2013, kick off 7-45pm when the opponents will be the rejuvenated Worcester Warriors. You can buy tickets by phoning 08444-994-994. For a call back please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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