Sale 24 Leicester 16: Taylor's vital try keeps Sale looking down from the summit

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The Independent Online

Sale increased their lead to seven points at the top of the Premership with an ebullient display, despite being down to 13 men when Nathan Bonner Evans and Barry Stewart were sin-binned within six minutes of one another as Leicester sought to salvage something from a disappointing performance. Sale were sharper, more passionate, surer in the tackle and infinitely more creative, while finishing their chances with greater alacrity.

Sale soon warmed to the task of protecting their unbeaten home record. Tom Croft took precious little time making his mark. Unfortunately he chose to make it on Dean Schofield's face, and was sin-binned, enabling Daniel Larrechea to kick the first of his three opening-quarter penalties. Ross Broadfoot responded by succeeding with two of his three attempts, before the game really came alight with a Sale try. Oriol Ripol made ground up the right, Epi Tiaone took it on for Robert Todd to put Mark Taylor in for his first try for Sale. Valentin Courrent converted and though Broadfoot slotted a third penalty for Leicester, the Sharks went in 16-9 to the good.

They stretched that to 21-9 with another try. Ripol was all deception, Larrechea made further inroads, for Magnus Lund to cross in the right corner. Courrent missed the conversion, but added a penalty and Sale were cruising.

Sale: Tries Taylor, Lund; Conversion Courrent; Penalties Larrechea 3, Courrent. Leicester: Try Cornwell; Conversion Goode; Penalties Broadfoot 3.

Sale: D Larrechea (B Foden, 69); O Ripol, M Taylor, R Todd, J Robinson (capt); V Courrent, S Martens (R Wigglesworth, 73); B Coutts (S Turner, 57), A Titterrell, B Stewart, C Day, D Schofield, E Taione (P Anglesea, 49), M Lund, N Bonner-Evans (D Tait, 78; Coutts, 78).

Leicester: S Vesty; L Lloyd, O Smith, D Hipkiss (M Cornwell, 46), T Varndell; R Broadfoot (A Goode, 52), A Healey (capt); A Moreno, G Chuter (J Buckland, 59), D Morris (M Holford, 59), L Cullen (J Hamilton, 57), B Kay, T Croft, W Skinner, B Deacon (W Johnson, 57).

Referee: S Davey (Sussex).

* In the other Premiership match last night, Worcester beat Bristol 24-15.

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