Bath Rugby face Sale Sharks in Round 20 of the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday (kick-off 15:00, live on BT Sport Extra). We take a closer look at the Sharks…
Sale Sharks have lost just twice in the last nine rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby, in successive matches in August, to Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs. The Sharks have been defeated just twice at AJ Bell Stadium in Premiership Rugby this season, to Gloucester in round 1 and to Exeter in round 15.
Bath Rugby’s only reversal in the last six rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby was 23-27 at home to Wasps on 31 August. Bath have won their last three away games in the tournament but have not won four in succession on their travels since season 2009/10. Bath have lost just one of their last four fixtures with Sale: 3-6 on their most recent visit to Salford in April 2019. Bath’s latest victory at AJ Bell Stadium was in September 2014.
Date: Sunday 13 September
Competition: Gallagher Premiership
Where: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistants: Luke Pearce & Tom Foley
TMO: Stuart Terheege
Citing Officer:Paul Burke
Media coverage: BBC Radio Bristol, BT Sport 1
Saracens (H) – 24-17 (W)
Leicester Tigers (A) – 40-31 (W)
Bristol Bears (H) – 40-7 (W)
LAST TIME OUT
Rhys Priestland went on a one-man crusade to ensure that Bath Rugby beat Sale Sharks by a whisker, 16-14, and leapfrog their opponents in the Gallagher Premiership standings.
Two penalties from the Welshman gave Bath a 6-0 lead at the end of a first half, in which the visitors grew, but came up with nothing to show for it at the break.
And they were made to pay when Jonathan Joseph scored a stunning try following a kick and chase from Tom Homer and a critical offload from Priestland, who landed the conversion.
Then the game ignited, Sale’s Akker van der Merwe crossing for his third league try of the season, and less than five minutes later, Byron McGuigan scored Sale’s second – Rob du Preez converting both to give the visitors a one-point lead.
But a third and final Priestland penalty was for the hosts to regain their advantage and hold on for the points.
Bath Rugby side to face Sale Sharks
15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels (C), 6. Josh Bayliss, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Taulupe Faletau
16. Ross Batty, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Will Spencer, 20. Tom Ellis, 21. Miles Reid, 22. Will Chudley, 23. Cameron Redpath
15. Luke James, 14. Denny Solomona, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Faf de Klerk; 1. Valerey Morozov, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Will-Griff John, 4. Matt Postlethwaite, 5. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Jono Ross (C) 7. Ben Curry, 8. Tom Curry
16. Rob Webber, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19. Cobus Wiese, 20. Jean Luc du Preez, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Sam James, 23. Arron Reed.