Flood ensures Leicester survive wobble
Leicester 28 Sale 23
Monday 02 January 2012
Leicester secured their fourth Premiership victory in a row by seeing off Sale at Welford Road but it was far from convincing.
The Sharks were in danger of being overrun when they fell 17-0 behind after only 20 minutes, but they showed spirit to fight back and had Leicester nerves jangling before a late Toby Flood penalty made the game safe. Leicester will reflect on their failure to collect a bonus point after being in control for much of the match.
Within a minute of the start, Sale lost flanker David Seymour after a clash of heads with team-mate Henry Thomas.
The Tigers went ahead after six minutes when they were awarded a penalty try after a collapsed scrum.
Flood created Leicester's second try with an excellent midfield break to send Billy Twelvetrees away, who fed Geordan Murphy for a simple try.
Against the run of play, Sale created a fine try. Onosa'i Auva'a stormed away and was well supported by his two locks, Kearnan Myall and Fraser McKenzie, with the latter collecting the try. After the break, Leicester extended their lead with Twelvetrees and Matt Smith combined to put Alesana Tuilagi over. However, a resilient Sale were not to be denied and produced the try of the match. Excellent handling skills from James Gaskell and Andy Powell created enough space for Rob Miller to go over.
Flood calmed the nerves with that late penalty, before with the last kick of the game, Nick Macleod dropped a goal to secure Sale a bonus point.
Scorers: Leicester: tries penalty try, Murphy, Tuilagi Conversions Flood 2 Penalties Flood 3 Sale: tries McKenzie, Miller Conversions MacLeod 2 Penalties MacLeod 2 Drop goal MacLeod.
Leicester Murphy (Hamilton 73), Agulla, Smith, Twelvetrees, A. Tuilagi, Flood, B Youngs (T Youngs 73); Castrogiovanni (Stankovich 28, Hawkins (Chuter 65) , Cole, Slater (Croft 65) ,Kitchener, Mafi, Salvi (Woods 40), Waldrom.
Replacements not used Mulipola, Staunton.
Sale Miller, Brady, Leota, Tuitupou, Tuculet, MacLeod, Peel; Dickinson, Jones (Titterrell 66), Thomas (Cobilas 37), McKenzie, Myall, Gaskell, Seymour (Auva'a 1),Powell (Easter 66). Replacements not used Imiolek, Willis, Higgins, Addison.
Referee Andrew Small (RFU)
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