Jones strikes twice to flatten Titans

By Mark Pierson
Monday 29 December 2003 01:00

A second try from the lock Chris Jones in the third minute of stoppage time earned Sale an all-important bonus point against Rotherham as they eventually beat the basement club 35-7 on Saturday at Edgeley Park.

Rotherham threatened to pull off the shock of the season when they led 7-3 early on after the outside-half converted his own virtuoso try. But Jason Robinson came to the Sharks' rescue with his first try of the season before Jones supplied the finishing touches with his second-half brace.

Robinson, playing out of position at centre, pounced for his try on 28 minutes after making the initial breach and then taking a return pass from the full-back, Vaughan Going, to turn Sale pressure into much-needed points.

It was just the tonic the Sharks needed after the visitors, with only a solitary bonus point to show from the first 12 games, had made the more impressive start. But after Robinson had broken their defences, it turned into an entirely different story with Charlie Hodgson kicking 15 points and Steve Hanley going over for a first-half try.

At Welford Road, Leicester's director of rugby, Dean Richards, praised his side's focus after they beat Leeds 39-11. Tries from Austin Healey, Graham Rowntree, Freddie Tuilagi, Neil Back and Neil Baxter put a smile on Richards' face. "That was one of the best week's training we've had," he said. "As Christmas fell on a Thursday this year, there's been a minimum of disruption, especially with no distractions like the England v New Zealand Barbarians. There's also been an edge in the camp this week and that showed out there this afternoon."

The outside-half Andy Goode helped himself to 14 points on his first start since rejoining from Saracens.

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