Sale 10 Saracens 15 match report: Charlie Hodgson’s kicks sink Sale as Saracens battle back
Friday 14 February 2014
Charlie Hodgson kicked all Saracens’ points as they secured a narrow win over Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Hodgson’s penalty gave Sarries an early 3-0 lead but Danny Cipriani’s three-pointer and Marc Jones’ try gave Sale a 10-3 lead at the interval. The Sharks could not sustain the pressure in the second period as the visitors dominated and their stand-off added four further penalties.
Mark McCall’s men were looking to respond to their loss to London Irish last week and welcomed back Brad Barritt, Mako Vunipola and Alex Goode from England duty. They were first on the scoresheet too as Jamie George put a kick in behind the hosts’ back three and, after the Sharks infringed, Hodgson converted the penalty.
Cipriani levelled following a mistake from Vunipola, and Sale forged ahead when a mistake from the visitors allowed Sale to build pressure and a driving maul ended in Jones going over. Cipriani added the conversion.
Saracens opened the second period impressively and it paid off when Hodgson kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit.
With the introduction of Sarries’ strong bench, they began to assert control. Another kick from their pivot took them to within one point before a high James Gaskell tackle allowed Hodgson to edge them ahead.
Nick Macleod had a chance to take Sale ahead late on, but his effort missed the target and Hodgson sealed victory with a fifth from the tee.
Sale: Miller; Brady, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto; Cipriani, Peel; Lewis-Roberts, Jones, Cobilas, Ostrikov, Paterson, Braid, Seymour, Gaskell. Replacements: Taylor, Harrison, Thomas, J Mills, Easter, Cliff, MacLeod, Arscott.
Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Taylor, Barritt, Strettle; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, George, Stevens, Borthwick, Kruis, Brown, Burger, Wray. Replacements: Brits, Barrington, Johnston, Botha, Joubert, de Kock, Tomkins, Wyles.
Referee: G Garner (RFU)
My one and only game for Neil Baldwin FC
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader