Saracens vs Sale Sharks 22/23 Report

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33 Saracens
22 Sale Sharks

Sun 30 Oct 3:00pm StoneX Stadium Attendance: 0

Saracens vs Sale Sharks

Sharks mark their first loss of the season at Saracens as Alex Goode stars on his record appearance for the club.

The long-serving former England full-back, who became Sarries’ most capped player, celebrated with their opening score against second-placed Sale.

Goode, 34, added two conversions and a penalty as the home side fought back to overturn a 15-5 deficit.

That maintained Saracens’ faultless record and took them 10 points clear.

Sale seized the initiative in the opening 20 minutes, with the hosts largely penned inside their own 22, and Tom O’Flaherty had an early try chalked off when television replays showed a forward pass.

Ben Curry made the breakthrough in the fifth minute, taking the ball over off the back of a maul, but Saracens responded immediately with Goode bursting through a gap and racing across the line.

However, Saracens struggled at the breakdown, with Rob du Preez slotting a routine three-pointer before a penalty try – awarded when back row Ben Earl was yellow-carded for collapsing a maul – stretched the Sharks’ advantage to 15-5.

But the league leaders battled back, with Elliot Daly nailing a 45-yard penalty before Theo McFarland scythed through the Sale defence to score, and two successful kicks by Goode edged his side in front at the interval.

Goode set up Earl to scamper through for a try soon after the turnaround and, when Daly struck another long-range penalty to make it 26-15, Saracens appeared to be coasting.

With both Daly and Nick Tompkins sin-binned, though, they had to withstand sustained pressure and Sale thought they had reduced the deficit through Tommy Taylor – only for his score to be disallowed for a double movement.

Joe Carpenter gave the Sharks renewed hope with 20 minutes to go, forcing his way over in the corner for a converted score and they continued to dominate the scrum, even once Saracens had returned to full strength.

But the home defence held firm and Tompkins pounced on Goode’s grubber kick five minutes from time to earn Saracens some breathing space and clinch a four-try bonus point in the process.

Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson:

“We were three points down at half-time, but there were opportunities squandered on the back of some soft tries.

“I’m happy about the way we played the game and happy about the opportunities we created to give us a chance to win the game. Close but no cigar.

“We were a metre from the line two or three times, but you have to convert and have to get over the line.

“We came out of our system and didn’t take the opportunity to convert the obvious pressure.”

Saracens: Goode; Lewington, Lozowski, Tompkins, Daly; M Vunipola, Van Zyl; Mawi, Dan, Judge, Hunter-Hill, McFarland, Christie, Earl, Wray.

Replacements: Lewis, Flynn, Riccioni, Kitchener, Knight, De Haas, Hallett, Maitland.

Sale: Carpenter; Reed, S James, S Hill, O’Flaherty; R du Preez, Warr; McIntyre, Taylor, Schonert, Wiese, Beaumont, Ross, B Curry, D du Preez.

Replacements: Ashman, Harrison, Harper, Postlethwaite, Dugdale, Simpson, Curtis, McGuigan.

Referee: Wayne Barnes.

Previous meetings

H Friday
April 1st 2022

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
A Sunday
November 28th 2021

StoneX Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
H Wednesday
September 9th 2020

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks