Bristol 22 Sale 14: Sale's hopes go west as Strange sees Bristol home

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The Independent Online

The West Country is not a happy hunting ground for the Premiership leaders Sale. In September they visited Kingsholm and came off with the mucky end of the stick against Gloucester. Yesterday their hopes of victory - and a run of seven wins in all competitions - again went west at the Memorial Stadium.

Given the number of turnovers Sale conceded they were lucky not to be on the end of a far bigger score. That Bristol failed to turn more of their position, possession and chances into tries - which cost them a bonus point - can be put down to their own over-eagerness. "It's the most [opportunities for] tries we have created in a game this season," said Richard Hill, their director of rugby.

Brian Lima and David Lemi caused havoc up the middle and out wideand it was a mesmerising break by Lemi late in the game that set up Shaun Perry's try to finally settle the issue.

The painful thing for the Sale coach Philippe Saint-André was the error count. "I think today we made more mistakes than we have in our last six or seven matches." Sale outscored Bristol in tries but lacked a kicker of Jason Strange's quality. He contributed 17 points, passing the 100 mark in the Premiership this season as Bristol stayed eighth in the league.

Bristol: Try Perry; Conversion Strange; Penalties Strange 5. Sale: Tries Schofield, Martens; Conversions Courrent 2.

Bristol: B Stortoni; D Lemi, B Lima, S Cox, V Going; J Strange, S Perry; D Hilton (A Clarke, 80), M Regan , D Crompton, R Winters, G Llewellyn, M Salter (capt), J El Abd, G Lewis.

Sale: D Larrechea (N Wakely, 70); O Ripol (C Mayor, 46), M Taylor, R Todd, J Robinson (capt); V Courrent, R Wigglesworth (S Martens, 68); B Coutts, A Titterrell, B Stewart (S Turner, 46), D Schofield, C Day, N Bonner-Evans (C Jones, 46), M Lund, I Fernandez-Lobbe.

Referee: M Fox (Leicestershire).

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