Tigers roar but lose bite with White facing ban

Leicester 37 Sale 31

Julian White belongs to that union of front row heavies who resolutely include a punch on the nose among their rules of engagement. Line up as many television cameras, disciplinary beaks and assistant referees as you like, and White will not change.

When his well-aimed right-hander knocked over his Sale counterpart and England colleague Andrew Sheridan after 21 minutes of this uproarious Premiership match, White received his fourth red card since 2002 and is likely to receive a long ban. Sheridan's part in the incident may attract the attention of the independent citing officer.

Given that Leicester's injury list is as long as White's rap sheet – he was also cited and suspended twice last season – the Tigers' acting head coach, Richard Cockerill, might have been spitting tacks. Instead he put a brave, cauliflower-eared face on it, which reminded you that "Cockers" – 38 years old to White's 35 – is not long retired from the scrum himself.

"We've got Martin Castrogiovanni and Dan Cole to cover the [tighthead] position," Cockerill said. "He [White] will get the punishment that fits the crime." Geordan Murphy, Leicester's captain for the day, said: "I think Julian's unlucky. He knows how to throw a punch and he knows how to land one. The man just has a knack. If he'd have missed, it would have been a penalty and a warning. If I threw 10 of those I'd miss and I'd get laughed at."

Someone voted Castrogiovanni the man of the match, which was a bit rich as Sheridan drew a penalty out of him at the first scrum following White's departure, and there were uncontested scrums for the final 12 minutes.

Worthier candidates abounded as Leicester, with Toby Flood and Sam Vesty sharing the fly-half duties skillfully, won a sixth Premiership match in seven. Sale scored three attractive tries, two of them by Mark Cueto in front of the Lions coach Ian McGeechan, and with two home matches remaining they retain an outside chance of making the top four.

In another England tête-à-tête, Mathew Tait scooted round Tigers' Dan Hipkiss to set up Cueto's second. Earlier, Tait was just a barnacle on Alesana Tuilagi's back as the Samoan treated his parents, visiting from the South Seas, to a trademark battering-ram try.

The Tigers' form reflects well on Cockerill. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Murphy. " In his acting role, Cockers is doing a good job so why not just let him keep his acting role?"

Scorers: Leicester: TriesTuilagi, Hamilton 2, Hipkiss, Vesty; Conversions Flood 2, Vesty; Penalties Flood 2. Sale: Tries: Cueto 2, Briggs; Conversions Hodgson 2; Penalties Hodgson 4.

Leicester Tigers: G Murphy (capt); S Hamilton, D Hipkiss, S Vesty, Alesana Tuilagi; T Flood (A Erinle, 16-24), H Ellis (J Dupuy, 58); M Ayerza (D Hemingway, 68), G Chuter, J White, L Deacon, B Kay, T Croft, B Woods, B Pienaar (M Castrogiovanni, 22).

Sale Sharks: N MacLeod; M Cueto, M Tait, R Keil (Anitelea Tuilagi, 68), O Ripol; C Hodgson, D Peel (R Wigglesworth, 73); A Sheridan (L Faure, 68), S Bruno (C Fearns, 61), E Roberts, C Jones, B Cockbain (D Schofield, 51), J White, N Briggs, JM Fernandez Lobbe (capt).

Referee: W Barnes (London).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor