Nov 20, 2016
Clinical Saracens too good for Sale Sharks
Saracens showed their clinical edge to defeat Sale Sharks 28-10 in round eight of the Aviva Premiership at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Substitute Ben Spencer crossed for a fine individual effort in dying stages of a competitive and hard-fought clash to round off an impressive away performance for the reigning Aviva Premiership and European champions.
Spencer’s wonderful effort was Sarries third try of the afternoon with earlier scores coming from centre Marcelo Bosch and replacement wing Matt Gallagher. In another assured display in the No10 jersey Alex Lozowski kicked 13-points and was a threat throughout a game where Saracens took their chances and showed a steely edge in defence.
Lozowski opened the scoring for Saracens with a penalty goal after Sale Sharks were penalised for not rolling away. The Sarries fly-half was in the thick of the action during the opening stages and his chip and collect from halfway nearly resulted in what could have been a wonderful try but he was hauled down Sale wing Will Addison with the try-line fast approaching. Despite Sarries bright start it was the Sharks though who crossed for the games first try when Sale skipper Josh Beaumont burrowed over from close-range. Sarries had initially defended a strong Sale driving maul manfully but the Sharks number eight powered over to dot the ball down despite Mike Rhodes’ best efforts to place his legs under the ball– MacGinty converted to edge his side in front after 22 minutes’ play.
Saracens responded through Marcelo Bosch in the 27th minute, the Argentine centre collected a Schalk Brits pop pass to finish off a fine team move which involved some fine interplay from Chris Wyles, Michael Rhodes and Jackson Wray in the build-up. Fly-half Lozowski converted the score.
Sale had the chance to level the scores with a AJ MacGinty penalty kick but the USA international fly-half dragged a kickable chance wide. Sarries had the last say in the half when Alex Lozowski sent over a 40th minute penalty after Sale wing Will Addison deliberately knocked-on.
Sarries were forced into a change at the break with Chris Wyles going off for Matt Gallagher on the left wing and it would be the substitute who crossed for Saracens’ second try of the game. Man of the Match Schalk Brits played a key role in the score, intercepting an overthrown lineout from Sale in his own half before racing down field. Sarries moved the ball through the hands of Lozowski and skipper Brad Barritt to find wing Gallagher who touched down for his first senior try of his career.
Sale hit back with a penalty goal for a Saracens offside, only for Lozowski to hit back with another three points after his pack of forwards forced a penalty at scrum time.
The game then threatened to boil over with two yellow cards. The first of which was Sale’s replacement prop Halani Aulika who was sin-binned for striking Jim Hamilton, Lozowski sent over three points from the resulting penalty. Moments later Sarries lock Mike Rhodes would be sent to the sidelines for a tackle on Will Addison.
Sale were throwing everything at Saracens but they were dealt a sucker punch when Ben Spencer raced 70 metres to score his side’s third and final try. After Sale coughed up possession, Alex Lozowski weaved his way through some heavy Shark traffic before offloading to Spencer. The Sarries scrumhalf rounded the covering defenders to sprint away only to have the fleet-footed Paolo Odogwu chasing. Spencer won the race and sealed the game for Saracens.
Sale Sharks 13 Saracens 28
Saracens: 15 Andrew Fenby; 14 Mike Ellery; 13 Marcelo Bosch (Tomkins 71); 12 Brad Barritt (c); 11 Chris Wyles, (Gallagher 41); 10 Alex Lozowski; 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Spencer 60); 1 Richard Barrington (Lamositele 53); 2 Schalk Brits (Spurling 75); 3 Juan Figallo (Du Plessis 48); 4 Mike Rhodes; 5 Jim Hamilton (Flanagan 74); 6 Kelly Brown (Conlon 64); 7 Schalk Burger; 8 Jackson Wray.
Replacements 16 Scott Spurling; 17 Titi Lamositele; 18 Petrus Du Plessis; 19 Mark Flanagan; 20 Joel Conlon; 21 Ben Spencer; 22 Nick Tompkins; 23 Matt Gallagher:
Tries Bosch (27); Gallagher (44); Spencer (71):
Cons Lozowski 2/3
Penalties Lozowski 3/4
Yellow card Rhodes (67):
Sale Sharks: 15. Mike Haley, 14. Will Addison (Arscott 68), 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Tuitupou (Jennings (53), 11. Paolo Odogwu, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Peter Stringer (Phillips 53), 1. Ross Harrison (Flynn 73), 2. Neil Briggs (Webber 67), 3. Brian Mujati (Aulika 56), 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Cameron Neild (Ioane 53), 7. David Seymour (Curry 67), 8. Josh Beaumont (c)
Replacements: 16. Rob Webber, 17. James Flynn, 18. Halani Aulika, 19. TJ Ioane, 20. Ben Curry, 21. Mike Phillips, 22. Mark Jennings, 23. Tom Arscott
Try Beaumont (22):
Penalties MacGinty x2:
Yellow card Aulika (59)
Scoring sequence 0-3; 7-3; 7-10; 7-13; 7-18; 10-18; 10-21; 13-21; 13-28:
Man of the match: Schalk Brits