Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks 23/24 Report

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17 Leicester Tigers
24 Sale Sharks

Sat 21 Oct 3:05pm Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium Attendance: 0

Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks made it two wins out of two to start the Premiership season as Leicester Tigers stuttered to a second successive defeat.

Sale led 14-12 at the break after home tries by Mike Brown and Hanro Liebenberg, cancelled out by efforts from Tom Roebuck and Ernst van Rhyn.

Rob du Preez added to his two conversions with a second-half penalty before Ollie Hassell-Collins levelled it at 17-17.

But Du Preez stole over 11 minutes from time and added the kick to win it.

Leicester opened the campaign with a 25-14 defeat by Bristol at Ashton Gate, so this was another setback.

Sale won their first game of the season 20-15 at home to Northampton.

Sale were forced into a late change at full-back, as Tom O’Flaherty came in for Joe Carpenter, and they were rocked when Tom Whiteley fed Jamie Shillcock, whose quick pass allowed Brown to finish from a few metres out.

But Shillcock, making his first start at number 10, failed to convert and Sale responded immediately when Gus Warr’s offload found back-rower Van Rhyn who timed his pass to send Roebuck under the posts.

Sale had a try from O’Flaherty ruled out for a knock-on at the breakdown by Nick Schonert, but the visitors were able to make the most of a sustained spell of pressure when Van Rhyn was adjudged to have touched down after a TMO check.

Tigers hit back when captain Liebenberg barged his way over from close range, with Shillcock’s conversion reducing the gap to 14-12 at half-time before a simple penalty from Du Preez took Sale’s lead back out to five points early in the second half.

After knocking on in the in-goal area, having got to Shillcock’s kick down the left wing first, Hassell-Collins then did score when he shrugged off O’Flaherty’s tackle to level the match after he had been put into space by Joe Powell.

But Shillcock pushed his conversion wide – and Sale skipper Du Preez then claimed the match-winning score.

He took Raffi Quirke’s pass before dummying and going clear to score a try he converted himself under the posts as Alex Sanderson’s side ensured a repeat of the outcome of their semi-final win over the Tigers in May.

Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson:

“We had to find some reserves and shake off the frustration which we could have felt from not scoring our opportunities, and grind it out, which we did.

“They feel like some of the most euphoric wins, those kind of wins. It’s the second week running now where we’ve had to really knuckle down.

“But the communication and the calmness on the field – well, they were a lot calmer than I was.

“You want to get off to a fast start and we’ve got off to one. On both occasions they could have gone the other way, but it’s the nature of how we’ve come through those games that’s most encouraging.”

Leicester: Brown; Bassett, Porter, Kelly, Hassell-Collins; Shillcock, Whiteley; Van Wyk, Clare, Heyes, Henderson, Williams, Liebenberg, Cracknell, Hatherell.

Replacements: Dolly, Whitcombe, Hurd, Carter, Rogerson, Powell, Atkinson, Cokanasiga.

Sale: O’Flaherty; Roebuck, S James, Bedlow, Reed; R Du Preez, Warr; McIntyre, Taylor, Schonert, Wiese, Hill, Van Rhyn, Dugdale, D Du Preez.

Replacements: Caine, Harrison, Harper, Beaumont, Birch, Quirke, Curtis, Doherty.

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe.

Previous meetings

H Friday
September 15th 2023

Salford Stadium
Premiership Rugby Cup
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
H Friday
December 30th 2022

Salford City Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
A Saturday
October 8th 2022

Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks