Sale 22 Bath 6: Hodgson's poise keeps Sale in touch with leaders
Saturday 29 March 2008
Charlie Hodgson delivered another masterclass as Sale reaffirmed their Premiership title credentials by dispatching leaders Bath in dreadful conditions at Edgeley Park.
Incessant rain meant the match was only given the go-ahead after a pitch inspection 30 minutes before kick-off and it was Sale and Hodgson in particular who adapted far better. The England fly-half bossed proceedings for Sale, landing 17 points with the boot and creating a first-half try for Oriol Ripol with a well-judged crossfield kick.
Hodgson has found himself behind Danny Cipriani and Jonny Wikinson in the international pecking order, but he continues to prove invaluable to his club to keep them in play-off contention. Hodgson opened with two penalties before his opposite number, Shane Berne, missed a penalty from distance before finding his range in the 14th minute. There were handling errors aplenty from both sides with Bath full-back Nick Abendanon knocking on to end a promising counter-attack on half-way.
Hodgson remained prominent and a delightful drop goal extended Sale's lead shortly after the half-hour. On the stroke of half-time he flighted a kick into the left-hand corner, behind Bath wing Andrew Higgins and inviting enough for Ripol to give chase. Higgins caught the ball but inexplicably then dropped it, allowing Ripol the easiest of tasks to collect possession and ground with ease.
Gloucester-bound Olly Barkley dragged Bath back into contention shortly after the restart with a routine penalty, but two further Hodgson penalties sealed a victory which keeps Sale tucked in nicely behind the Premiership's leading pack.
Sale: Try: Ripol Cons: Hodgson Pens: Hodgson 4 Drops: Hodgson Bath: Pens: Berne, Barkley
Sale: Foden, Sevealai'i, Bell, Thomas, Ripol, Hodgson, Wigglesworth, Faure, Briggs, Turner, C Fernandez Lobbe, C Jones, White, J Fernandez Lobbe, Chabal. Replacements: Bruno, Roberts, Schofield, Cox, Cliff, Laharrague, McAlister.
Bath: Abendanon, Higgins, Cheeseman, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Banahan, Berne, Claassens, Stevens, Mears, Bell, Borthwick, Grewcock, Short, Lipman, Goodman. Replacements: Dixon, Flatman, Purdy, Feau'nati, Baxter, Crockett, Barkley.
Referee: Andrew Small
Loic Remy to Liverpool: Striker undergoes medical in Boston ahead of £8.5m move
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Sami Khedira, Isco and Angel di Maria among Real Madrid players up for grabs this summer
Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains