Aviva Premiership round-up: Sharks shaken by Mitchell's quick exit

 

Sale Sharks' poor and chaotic season has taken a turn for the worse with the departure of John Mitchell as head coach after only a month.

The former New Zealand coach is technical advisor for the Lions, the Johannesburg-based club in the Super 15, after stepping aside as head coach last month after a legal wrangle. Mitchell was in charge of Sale for only five matches in a stint that began at the end of November, including Friday night's 33-27 victory over Worcester at a windy Salford City Stadium.

Brian Kennedy, Sale's owner, said that Mitchell "has had to return to South Africa for personal reasons which we respect. We are grateful for his valuable and insightful contributions, albeit for a shorter term than envisaged".

Short-term is apt description for what has happened to the coaching team at the Premiership's bottom club since the end of October, when confusion over roles was clarified with a statement that Bryan Redpath would be the head coach, working with Steve Diamond and Mitchell.

At the end of November Mitchell was unexpectedly announced as head coach for the rest of the season. Now he's gone.

Sale's survival in the Premiership will depend on them catching London Irish, who are now only one point ahead, or London Welsh, who are eight points further away but lost again, to London Wasps, yesterday.

A wonderful try by the Wasps' outstanding scrum-half, Joe Simpson, was the highlight of their victory, and as the game got away from the Welsh in the second half Tom Varndell ran in a late fourth try to wrap up the Wasps' bonus point.

Tries from wing Elliot Daly, who also kicked a penalty, and replacement prop Will Taylor brought Wasps back from a 12-6 half-time deficit after Gordon Ross had kicked four of his five penalties for London Welsh. Fly-half Nicky Robinson landed three penalties for Wasps and Stephen Jones one conversion.

Indiscipline in the ruck cost Exeter the chance to beat Bath for the first time in the Premiership when Tom Heathcote converted a penalty try three minutes from time in a 12-12 draw in front of 10,744 at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs had protected an advantage built up by Gareth Steenson's accurate place-kicking until Bath, who had claimed an early try through Michael Classens, kicked for the corner late on and piled on the pressure. Successive Exeter transgressions in the ruck brought the penalty try.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory