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Bath Rugby off to winning start at Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks 20 v Bath Rugby 29

Bath Rugby's 2014-15 Aviva Premiership campaign got off to a nail-biting but victorious start in Salford, as a late Semesa Rokoduguni try sealed the 20-29 win over Sale Sharks.

It was a lightening start for the visitors, as Anthony Watson went in for the side's first try inside a minute of the kick-off. A delicate cross-field kick from George Ford was well taken by the young wing, who then danced along the touchline and broke free of the Sale defence to cross the whitewash. Ford added the conversion for an early lead. 0-7.

It looked as if another try had been scored just minutes later. Stuart Hooper took the ball cleanly at the lineout and some quick service from Peter Stringer found Leroy Houston in space. With some support from Dominic Day, the number eight burst forward and it sppeared he had touched down inside the posts. Referee JP Doyle wasn't so sure, and consulted with the Television Match Official who ruled no try for a knock-on.

An error at the lineout from the home side created the next score for Bath, as Jonathan Joseph jinked his way through the midfield before being brought down with a high tackle, which was spotted by Doyle, and Ford succeeded with the penalty attempt to take the lead to 10 after 25 minutes.

A late challenge by Day on Danny Cipriani led to a yellow card for the lock and three points for the Sale fly-half, his side's first of the game, but it was quickly cancelled out by another three points from Ford. 3-13.

Whilst Bath had the advantage on the scoreboard, a tight game was being played out on the field, and five minutes before half-time Sale capitalised on their man advantage, centre Mark Jennings going over from close range after the home side had pounced on a loose, bobbling ball in Bath's 22. Cipriani added the extras, before the two fly-halves exchanged further penalties ahead of the half-time whistle.

Half-time: Sale Sharks 13 – Bath Rugby 16.

With the game evenly poised, Sale came out all guns blazing, controlling the tempo and possession for the opening ten minutes or so of the second-half. However, the stubborn Bath defence held them out, and instead it was the visitors who scored next - a stunning long range penalty from the half-way line sailing through the posts from the boot of Ford.

Bath were stringing together some good phases of attack, but with 14 minutes to go, Sale took the lead for the first time in the game. A strong forward drive ended with Mark Easter barrelling over under a pile of bodies, and Cipriani's successful conversion added the vital two points. 20-19.

They looked to have sealed the win moments later when Michael Paterson galloped away for another try, but Doyle had spotted a forward pass in the build-up and ruled the score out.

Bath were not to be fazed however, and patiently worked themselves into good areas to attack from. After a number of phases, the ball was spun wide into the hands of Ford, who drew the defence and released Semesa Rokoduguni to power down the right touchline and through the Sale defence to dive over in the corner. Doyle consulted the TMO to be sure and awarded the try, allowing Ford to add a sublime touchline conversion. The 21 year-old fly-half secured the win moments later with another spectacular long range penalty, and whilst Sale tried to get something from the closing moments, the visiting defence stood strong.

Final score: Sale Sharks 20 – Bath Rugby 29.

Match details

AJ Bell Stadium
Aviva Premiership
6 September 2014
KO 14:00

Attendance: 6,800
Referee: JP Doyle
Half Time score: 13-16

Sharks:
Tries: Jennings (33), Easter (65)
Conversions: Cipriani (33, 66)
Penalties: Cipriani (26, 41)
Bath:
Tries: Watson (0), Rokoduguni (71)
Conversions: Ford (1, 72)
Penalties: Ford (23, 29, 36, 56, 76)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Sharks and Bath.

1'

Try for Bath! Sharks 0 - 5 Bath

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

2'

Conversion! Sharks 0 - 7 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

24'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 0 - 10 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

26'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Dominic Day for ten minutes.

27'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 3 - 10 Bath

Danny Cipriani kicks a penalty goal for Sharks.

27'

Substitution

Magnus Lund replaces Dan Braid for Sharks.

30'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 3 - 13 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

34'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 8 - 13 Bath

Mark Jennings scores for Sharks.

34'

Conversion! Sharks 10 - 13 Bath

Danny Cipriani with a conversion for Sharks.

37'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 10 - 16 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

42'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 13 - 16 Bath

Danny Cipriani kicks a penalty goal for Sharks.

42'

HALF TIME

Match score: Sharks 13 - 16 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

40'

Substitution

Carl Fearns replaces Alafoti Fa'osiliva for Bath.

47'

Substitution

Dave Attwood replaces Dominic Day for Bath.

49'

Substitution

Tom Arscott replaces Mark Cueto for Sharks.

50'

Substitution

Alberto De Marchi replaces Eifion Lewis-Roberts for Sharks.

50'

Substitution

Cameron Neild replaces Marc Jones for Sharks.

57'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 13 - 19 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Paul James for Bath.

62'

Substitution

Ross Harrison replaces Nathan Hines for Sharks.

62'

Substitution

Jonathan Mills replaces Vadim Cobilas for Sharks.

66'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 18 - 19 Bath

Mark Easter scores for Sharks.

66'

Substitution

Will Cliff replaces Chris Cusiter for Sharks.

66'

Substitution

Chris Cook replaces Peter Stringer for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Matt Banahan replaces Luke Arscott for Bath.

67'

Conversion! Sharks 20 - 19 Bath

Danny Cipriani with a conversion for Sharks.

72'

Try for Bath! Sharks 20 - 24 Bath

Semesa Rokoduguni scores for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Rob Webber for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Joe Ford replaces Danny Cipriani for Sharks.

72'

Substitution

Gavin Henson replaces Kyle Eastmond for Bath.

73'

Conversion! Sharks 20 - 26 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

74'

Substitution

Vadim Cobilas replaces Ross Harrison for Sharks.

77'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 20 - 29 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Sharks 20 - 29 Bath.

Sharks Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Danny Cipriani022010
Mark Easter10005
Mark Jennings10005
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford025019
Anthony Watson10005
Semesa Rokoduguni10005
Sharks v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PEifion
Lewis-Roberts
1Paul
James
P    
    HMarc
Jones
2Rob
Webber
H    
    PVadim
Cobilas
3David
Wilson
P    
    LNathan
Hines
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LMichael
Paterson
5Dominic
Day
L    
    FLDan
Braid
6Alafoti
Fa'osiliva
FL    
    FLDavid
Seymour
7Guy
Mercer
FL    
   18Mark
Easter
8Leroy
Houston
8    
    SHChris
Cusiter
9Peter
Stringer
SH    
2 2 FHDanny
Cipriani
10George
Ford
FH 2 5
    WMark
Cueto
11Anthony
Watson
W1   
   1CMark
Jennings
12Kyle
Eastmond
C    
    CWill
Addison
13Jonathan
Joseph
C    
    WTom
Brady
14Semesa
Rokoduguni
W1   
    FBLuke
McLean
15Luke
Arscott
FB    
Replacements
    RHCameron
Neild
16Tom
Dunn
RH    
    RLRoss
Harrison
17Nick
Auterac
RP    
    RPAlberto
De Marchi
18Henry
Thomas
R    
    RPJonathan
Mills
19Dave
Attwood
RL    
    RFLMagnus
Lund
20Carl
Fearns
RFL    
    RSHWill
Cliff
21Chris
Cook
RSH    
    RFHJoe
Ford
22Gavin
Henson
RC    
    RWTom
Arscott
23Matt
Banahan
RFB