A swing the other way
Last weekend, after the Friday night win against the Quins, ‘other’ results did Sale Sharks a favour. This weekend, it was quite the opposite.
Bath, Saints and Wasps all rose up the table at the Sharks’ expense. Bath squandered a 17-point advantage at Gloucester but gained a bonus point. Saints pipped Quins by a point at The Stoop and Wasps confounded all expectations by beating the Chiefs 26-19 at Sandy Park, Exeter’s first home defeat in the Premiership for over twelve months.
Credit to the Warriors, who seemed to be ‘up for it’ at Sixways last Saturday. especially after the Falcons had slipped up against the Tigers the night before. Let’s say it was not the best of days for everyone connected with Sale Sharks.
There are three rounds to go in the Gallagher Premiership: Sharks play Bath and Gloucester at home, with a trip to Bristol sandwiched in between.
Last minute dramas
Coping well with the pressure were James Grayson (Northampton Saints) who slotted a conversion over with 30 seconds showing on the countdown clock and Ian Madigan (Bristol Bears) whose last-gasp penalty gave his side a vital 23-21 win against Saracens.
The crowd at Ashton Gate on Saturday teatime was 14,798. Sharks’ final away match will be there on Friday 3rd May (7.45pm) and it’s not being televised.
Five to eight
Not the time to set one’s alarm each morning (Sharks staff are all at Carrington by then, anyway!) but the weekend’s results saw the club slip from fifth to eighth.
Also, positions five to eight in the Gallagher Premiership table are the tightest of squeezes, with three points separating the four clubs.
The middle of the table reads:
The situation will undoubtedly change before the final round on Saturday 18th May.
Sale Sharks travel to France for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup semi-final in La Rochelle.
Stade Rochelais, on the back of a run of five successive Top 14 defeats, put Section Paoise to the sword, scoring 10 tries in a ruthless drubbing.
Arthur Retiere amassed 18 points – including a brace of tries – and Kini Murimurivalu also claimed a double as La Rochelle showed no mercy to lowly Pau.
Round the leagues
With Easter approaching and after a relatively mild Winter, the final tables of Rugby Union’s leagues are more or less settled.
Sale FC, with a game to play, suffered at the hands of National One champions-elect Ampthill on Saturday, but are safe in 11th place, two above Cheshire rivals Caldy.
Hull Ionians top the shop in National 2 North, leaving second-placed Chester facing a play off game against Canterbury.
Northern Premier champions are Hull, with fifth-placed Rossendale the highest North West club in the table. Rob Webber’s Sandbach, the Midlands Premier Division’s most Northerly club, finished ninth.
Carlisle took the honours in North One West, with Blackburn runners up. Both hit the eighty points mark on Saturday, against De La Salle (Salford) and Douglas (IOM) respectively.
Cam Neild’s Altrincham Kersal topped Lancs & Ches. One, seven points clear of Bowdon, under the coaching of Josh Strauss and Byron McGuigan. AK rounded off their season with a 22-18 win at Rochdale.
— Altrincham Kersal RFC (@AltrinchamRFC) April 13, 2019
Staying in Lancs & Cheshire, Aspull and Ramsey (IOM) topped divisions two and three.
Congratulations to all our regional clubs on their efforts this season.
Up for the Cup
Sale FC face Chester in the Cheshire RFU Cup Final at Winnington Park this Thursday (Kick off 7.00pm).