Rugby Union: Sale triumph

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Sale 21

Cardiff 11

SALE AND Cardiff provided an approving Manchester crowd with an intriguing glimpse of what to expect if a British League ever becomes reality in an engrossing and full-blooded encounter at Heywood Road last night.

A friendly it may have been in name, though most certainly not in its execution.

Cardiff, out of the Welsh League and the European Cup, may well count this as the most difficult match of what is sure to be a turbulent season if the English clubs are prevented from playing them and Swansea on Allied Dunbar Premiership weekends.

This issue could be resolved when EFDR and the RFU meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday.

With their first-choice wingers David Rees and Tom Beim not fully recovered from groin and shoulder problems, Sale were obliged to field a No 8, Dion O'Cuinneagain, on the left wing. They then had to re-shape their back- line entirely by moving Shane Howarth to full-back and bring in Tom Barlow at outside-half when Jim Mallinder suffered a back injury.

Sale: Tries: Yates, Raiwalui, Penalty try. Conversions: Howarth (3)

Cardiff: Try: Humphreys. Penalties: Jarvis (2).

Sale: J Mallinder (capt) (T Barlow 18, J Devereux 51, M Tetlow 53); M Moore, S Davidson, C Yates, D O'Cuinneagain; S Howarth, R Smith (K Ellis 51); P Smith (P Winstanley 51), S Diamond (G Dawe 51), D Bell (A Smith 51), D Baldwin (S Raiwalui 51), C Murphy, P Anglesea, P Sanderson, J Machacek.

Cardiff: J Thomas; C Morgan (P Williams 78), M Wintle (R Kinnear 43), S Hill, L Botham; L Jarvis, R Jones; A Lewis, J Humphreys (capt) (P Young 26, Humphreys 70), S John, K Stewart, D Jones (J Tait 56), G Kacala, D Baugh, O Williams.

Referee: E Morrison (Bristol).