Bath Rugby travel to the AJ Bell on Friday night to face Sale Sharks in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership. Kick-off is at 20:00 with the game aired live on BT Sport Extra 1.
Bath Rugby travel to a cold AJ Bell on Friday night to face a Sale Sharks side who are thriving after their victory over Bristol Bears in Round 8.
Last week, Sale managed to grind out a 20-13 victory at Ashton Gate, over a Bristol team who are currently sitting top of the Gallagher Premiership.
In recent weeks, Sale has welcomed a new Director of Rugby in Alex Sanderson, who has helped Sale position themselves in third on the table ahead of Round 9 with six wins out of eight.
However, after a positive performance from a young Bath side against Harlequins last weekend, Bath Rugby will look to start this fixture in the same way they finished the last against Quins.
Match highlights for Bath came last week as Tian Schoeman and Will Muir both made noticeable impact when they made their debut appearances for the Blue, Black, and White. Plus, amongst the young Bath side was Ewan Richards, aged just 18, making his first team debut for Bath Rugby. Ewan was one of a total of nine home grown players in the matchday squad that featured, making this the highest representation yet in the Gallagher Premiership for Bath Rugby.
Our last fixture at the AJ Bell saw Bath Rugby come from behind to claim a vital bonus point victory over the Sharks, in what was Bath Rugby's first win away to the Manchester based side since the 14/15 season. At the time, both clubs were fighting for a top four position and this victory pushed the Blue, Black, and White into third place after securing a 37-22 win.
Standout performance on that day was from fly half Rhys Priestland, who managed to convert all 4 tries, including 2 in quick succession, which gave Bath Rugby an 8-point swing which proved decisive.
Sale Sharks will be looking to not let Bath Rugby have the same physical dominance as in the last meeting, despite a travelling Bath side who will be highly motivated to seal their first win this year.
Date: 12 February 2021
Competition: Gallagher Premiership R9
Where: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistants: Peter Allan and Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher
Citing Officer: Brian Campsall
Media Coverage: BT Sport Extra 1
SALE SHARKS CURRENT FORM
Bristol Bears 13–20 Sale Sharks | Gallagher Premiership
Sale Shark 32–23 Northampton Saints | Gallagher Premiership
Newcastle Falcons 15–13 Sale Sharks | Gallagher Premiership
London Irish 13–21 Sale Sharks | Gallagher Premiership
Toulon RC 26–14 Sale Sharks | Heineken Champions Cup
LAST TIME OUT
A 77th minute Jonathan Joseph try helps seal a bout point victory for Bath Rugby.
In a bonus point victory, it was an all-round team achievement that saw a dominant performance led by Captain Charlie Ewels, including a showcase battle between two heavy weights Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.
Although Sale were ahead to start with, Ruaridh McConnochie evened up the score line after 20 minutes dotting down in the corner for Bath Rugby.
Bath’s summer signing, Spencer, scored twice in another man of the match performance. First, touching down a clever kick through from Joseph 30 minutes into the match, and then picking the pockets of former England winger Marland Yarde, to intercept the ball and race in when Sale were chasing the game.
Jonathan Joseph touched down with two minutes remaining in the contest to secure all five match points available, scoring his side’s fourth try of the game as he gathered up a sublime chip kick from Ben Spencer and then wrestled his way to the ground.