Second-half show from Sale takes victory at AJ Bell

Sale Sharks 32 v Bath Rugby 9

Four second-half tries from a dominant Sale Sharks led to a 32-9 defeat for Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Rhys Priestland opened the scoring for Bath in a cagey first-half, knocking over the penalty after a Bath lineout had been turned into a full penalty by referee Ian Tempest after Andrei Ostrikov had instigated some pushing and shoving on the touchline. 0-3.

The Welsh international doubled the lead two minutes later with another penalty from the tee, before AJ MacGinty got his side’s first points of the afternoon on 13 minutes. 3-6.

The home side turned down two kickable penalties in an attempt to drive their way over the line, but the stubborn defence of Bath held them out, and they came away empty handed.

As the opening forty minutes drew to a close, Bath came agonisingly close to scoring, twice being held up over the line. Instead, they had to settle for a further three points from the boot of Priestland. MacGinty then added another three of his own to narrow the gap once more on the stroke of half-time.

Half-time score: Sale Sharks 6 – Bath Rugby 9.

Sale came out of the changing rooms firing in the second-half, and quickly started dominating the game. They scored two quickfire tries - Josh Strauss got the first, barrelling over from short range, before Byron McGuigan went over out wide. 18-9.

Their third came on 60 minutes through James O’Connor, the fullback juggling the ball before finally holding on and finishing off a good break from MacGinty.

The fly-half was at the heart of Sale’s fourth try as well – putting in a neat chip ahead for the on-rushing McGuigan. The winger and Bath replacement Chris Cook raced for the ball as it went over the line, but the awkward bounce saw it come back to Will Cliff instead, who dotted down. MacGinty added the conversion.

Bath continued to try and work their way over the Sale line, but the Sharks, buoyed on by the cheering home crowd, held firm and closed out the win.

Final score: Sale Sharks 32 – Bath Rugby 9.

Match details

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
23 December 2017
KO 15:00

Attendance: 6426
Referee: Ian Tempest
Half Time score: 6-9

Sharks:
Tries: Strauss (43), McGuigan (47), O'Connor (60), Cliff (71)
Conversions: MacGinty (43, 62, 72)
Penalties: MacGinty (13, 39)
Bath:
Penalties: Priestland (8, 11, 35)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Sharks and Bath.

9'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 0 - 3 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

12'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 0 - 6 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

14'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 3 - 6 Bath

AJ MacGinty kicks a penalty goal for Sharks.

36'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 3 - 9 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

40'

Penalty Goal! Sharks 6 - 9 Bath

AJ MacGinty kicks a penalty goal for Sharks.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Sharks 6 - 9 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

44'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 11 - 9 Bath

Josh Strauss scores for Sharks.

44'

Conversion! Sharks 13 - 9 Bath

AJ MacGinty with a conversion for Sharks.

48'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 18 - 9 Bath

Byron McGuigan scores for Sharks.

50'

Substitution

Nathan Charles replaces Michael Van Vuuren for Bath.

50'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Lucas Noguera Paz for Bath.

50'

Substitution

Max Lahiff replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

50'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Paul Grant for Bath.

60'

Substitution

James Phillips replaces Elliott Stooke for Bath.

61'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 23 - 9 Bath

James O'Connor scores for Sharks.

63'

Conversion! Sharks 25 - 9 Bath

AJ MacGinty with a conversion for Sharks.

63'

Substitution

James Wilson replaces Matt Banahan for Bath.

63'

Substitution

Marc Jones replaces Rob Webber for Sharks.

67'

Substitution

Levi Douglas replaces Francois Louw for Bath.

67'

Substitution

Halani 'Aulika replaces WillGriff John for Sharks.

68'

Substitution

Will Cliff replaces Faf de Klerk for Sharks.

68'

Substitution

Cameron Neild replaces Ben Curry for Sharks.

71'

Substitution

Chris Cook replaces Kahn Fotuali'i for Bath.

72'

Try for Sharks! Sharks 30 - 9 Bath

Will Cliff scores for Sharks.

73'

Substitution

George Nott replaces Bryn Evans for Sharks.

73'

Substitution

James Flynn replaces Ross Harrison for Sharks.

73'

Substitution

Mike Haley replaces James O'Connor for Sharks.

73'

Conversion! Sharks 32 - 9 Bath

AJ MacGinty with a conversion for Sharks.

73'

Substitution

Josh Charnley replaces Denny Solomona for Sharks.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Sharks.

Final score: Sharks 32 - 9 Bath.