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?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker