Thomas inspires Leeds to rare away victory

Sale 10 Leeds 19

If Leeds Carnegie do pull off a relegation escape that would be worthy of commendation from Lazarus himself, they may look to this one game, and perhaps to just one moment within it, as the game where their fortunes changed.

Ceiron Thomas may well have kicked 14 points to help Leeds to within a point of Worcester at the basement of the Guinness Premiership but his prowess with the boot was overshadowed by his first-half try-saving tackle that will go down as one of the best seen for a long, long time.

He kicked an early drop-goal for Leeds but then covered himself in even more glory, and most of Eifion Roberts's not inconsiderable stomach, when he pulled off an incredible feat to fell Roberts when he looked certain to score. Roberts weighs 21 stone but looked certain to cap off an amazing run with a try in the corner.

"It was an incredible tackle. To see your No 10 take a guy out like that was outstanding,"Leeds director of rugby Andy Key said. "Certainly for us it was the tackle of the season and probably the tackle of Ceiron's career."

Thomas deserved a medal for even daring to throw himself at the rampaging Roberts but when Kristian Ormsby cruised over the Leeds line two minutes later for the first try it all seemed in vain. But Leeds showed against Leicester last week that they have the stomach for a streetfight and that is what they indulged in here

Both sides suffered Valentine's Day losses to sides at the other end of the Guinness Premiership in the guise of Wasps' victory over Sale and Leicester's victory over Carnegie but neither outfit were outclassed in those games yet Leeds had clearly taken more heart from their match, encapsulated by Scott Mathie who snuck down the blindside for to score.

The game expanded after the break although both try-lines remained relatively undisturbed as Thomas kicked a further two penalties while Hodgson contributed with one of his own.

Leeds have started to look impenetrable in defence when their blood is up, as was the case here, and one steal by Mathie from a Sale ruck just five metres from his own line summed up their desire to keep the home side at bay. That was nothing though compared to the defensive effort with just minutes to go as Sale pecked away at Leeds' defence and indeed crossed the tryline on one occasion only to be somehow held up as they held on.

"This has hit me hard. With all due respect to Leeds, it doesn't get much worse than losing at home to bottom of the league without a point," Kingsley Jones, the Sale director of rugby said.

Sale Try Ormsby; Drop Hodgson; Con Hodgson. Leeds Try Mathie; Drop Thomas; Pen Thomas; Cons Thomas 3.

Sale: Vakacegu; James (Ripol 55), Bishop, Thomas, Cohen, Hodgson, Peel; Kerr (Schwalger 62), Briggs (Halsall 62), Roberts, Jones, Schofield, Ormsby, Fearns, Koyamaibole (Seymour 48)

Leeds: Hinton; Fa'afili, Rabeni, Barrow, Blackett; Thomas, Gomarsall (Mathie 20); MacDonald (Hardy 73), Titterell (Ma'asi 60), Gomez (Swainston 60), Lund, Wentzel (capt), Clark (Myall 55), Fourie, Oakley (To'oala 55)

Referee: Mr D Pearson.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'