Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks 21/22 Report

Follow #YourSharks Live

32 Leicester Tigers
23 Sale Sharks

Sat 13 Nov 3:00pm Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium Attendance: 15745

Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks

#YourSharks started their Premiership Rugby Cup title defence with a last minute defeat at the hands of Leicester Tigers, in a physical encounter at Matioli Woods Welford Road. The boys gave everything to try and close in on an early Tigers lead in a typically attritional match against the East Midlands outfit however a brace of tries from Sam Dugdale alongside a classy finish from Arron Reed couldn’t provide enough points for Sale to see the match out.

An early try from Jack van Poortvliet and three penalties from Bryce Hegarty gave Tigers a 16-3 lead but they had to withstand a fightback from the Sharks before Guy Porter’s late score put the outcome beyond doubt.

Cup holders Sale scored three tries of their own, clawing the gap back to just two points at 25-23 during the third quarter, but some stern defence and a late push forward with a couple of penalties gave Leicester a chance to seal an ninth successive win in all competitions.

Akker van der Merwe led a Sharks team which included regular first-teamers Simon McIntyre, JP du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Luke James and Denny Solomona.

Kick-off followed the traditional Remembrance Day commemorations and the opening stages of the game brought successful penalties by Tom Curtis and Hegarty, though Tigers also missed a couple of set-piece opportunities from attacking lineouts.

After a second Hegarty penalty, van Poortvliet supplied the afternoon’s opening try, taking possession midway inside his own half and running clear for this third score of the season.

The Hegarty conversion took the lead to 10 points on 19 minutes and the Australian stretched that with his next penalty.

But Sale crafted a score in response just before the half-hour, when Arron Reed latched on to Sam Dugdale’s clever offload to run in under the posts. The conversion by Curtis made it 16-10.

Whitcombe, normally a loosehead prop and making his first Tigers start in the back row, sat a defender down in another prominent carry but Tigers then had to be alert in defence as an bobbling kick from scrum-half Gus Warr momentarily held up as it bounced over the goalline and full-back Murimurivalu had to react quickly as the chasers closed in.

The second half opened with Brink making a decisive impact in contact to win a penalty just inside the opposition half and Hegarty judged his kick for goal to perfection as he made it 22-10.

Curtis added a penalty of his own after Tigers had been whistled at a breakdown and then marched back 10 metres, then Lancaster quickly replied with his first points for the club.

Sharks, though, built on indiscipline from Tigers to establish territory on their left and they were playing with penalty advantage when they reached the line and Sam Dugdale was able to force his way over. Curtis was off target with the conversion from out wide with the score at 25-18.

An enterprising break from van Poortvliet turned defence into attack for Tigers and, when Porter latched on to his offload 30 metres out, his kick took play up to the Sharks line where the defence scrambled back to dot down in-goal.

That gave Tigers a set-piece put-in, but the visitors earned a penalty there which caused some tempers to fray among the respective packs. Referee Andrew Jackson spoke to both captains to calm their teams before restarting.

A missed lineout, though, gave Sharks another chance to get forward and when they played advantage from the next scrum, centre Luke James found Dugdale in the wide channel and he ran in to score their third try.

With the gap down to two points at 25-23, Curtis was off target with his conversion from the right touchline.

The Tigers scrum came under pressure at the next set-piece but managed to get the ball out and kick-chase from Kobus van Wyk led to an error from the Sharks and a knock-on midway inside their own half.

A superb chase and catch from Saumaki had the crowd on their feet and, although Porter was taken into touch just five metres short of the line, Sharks missed their lineout jumper and the Tigers piled forward towards the line.

A penalty award followed and, as the forwards inched towards the tryline, Porter arrived on the right of the ruck and charged over to put the outcome beyond doubt. Lancaster’s conversion added another two points to seal the victory.

Previous meetings

A Saturday
October 23rd 2021

Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
H Friday
May 7th 2021

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
A Friday
January 29th 2021

Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks