- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, February 5th 2021
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 13-20 Sale Sharks
Saturday, February 6th 2021
Bristol Bears slipped to a first defeat in six Gallagher Premiership games as a late Luke James try and 15 points from the boot of AJ MacGinty saw Sale Sharks edge a physical encounter at Ashton Gate.
Bryan Byrne’s 18th-minute try had edged Pat Lam’s men in front with Jono Ross in the sin bin, but three MacGinty penalties cancelled out Ioan Lloyd’s effort to give the visitors a narrow lead at the break.
Byron McGuigan came close early in the second half only to be held up over the whitewash by a scrambling Bears defence, but the MacGinty was on target again to extend his side’s lead.
Two Lloyd penalties edged the Bears back in front six minutes from time, but James darted over out wide and MacGinty kicked his fifth penalty of the evening to send Sale home with the four points.
In a cagey opening quarter, Sale found themselves down to 14 men courtesy of persistent infringement at the lineout – captain Jono Ross was the man sent to the sin bin, and the Bears took immediate advantage. An 11-man lineout soon became a 13-man drive and Byrne was the man to touch down for his third try in two games.
MacGinty’s first penalty got Sale on the board while his second narrowed the deficit to just a single point midway through the first half.
A penalty at the scrum saw the Sale number ten nudge his side in front, while at the other end, the Bears were denied a second maul try by the TMO to trail at the interval.
Sale began the second half on the front foot and McGuigan was denied when Henry Purdy got himself under the ball in the right-hand corner. But when Siale Piutau was penalised at the breakdown, MacGinty made no mistake with his fourth kick of the night.
Lloyd pulled one back following a strong Bears surge at scrum time and added another ten minutes later to edge the hosts into a one-point lead.
But after Dugdale crashed his way through the Bears defence and MacGinty’s kick was hacked through, the fly half’s flat pass sent James over in the corner with just three minutes left to play.
It was MacGinty who had the final say too, with a fifth successful penalty of the evening, to send the points back to Manchester.
Bristol: C Piutau; Naulago (Leiua 68), O'Conor, S Piutau, Purdy; Lloyd, Uren; Woolmore (Y Thomas 53), Byrne (Capon 68), Afoa, Attwood, Holmes (Heenan 68), Vui, D Thomas, Hughes.
Replacements: Capon, Y Thomas, Chaparro, Harding, Heenan, Kessell, Bedlow, Leiua.
Sale Sharks: L James; McGuigan, S James, Hill, Yarde; MacGinty, De Klerk; Rodd, Langdon, John, Beaumont, Wiese, Ross (c), Neild, J-L du Preez.
Replacements: Ashman, Harrison, Oosthuizen, Phillips, Dugdale, Cliff, R du Preez, Hammersley.
Bristol Bears: Tries: Byrne 18. Cons: Lloyd 18. Pens: Lloyd 64, 74
Sale Sharks: Tries: James 77. Pens: MacGinty 21, 27, 34, 57, 80
After Ioan Lloyd's 74th-minute penalty had edged the Bears into a one-point lead, Sale snatched victory courtesy of Luke James, who collected MacGinty's pass to cruise over in the corner.
They've done it at the death! 🦈— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) February 5, 2021
AJ MacGinty pings a beautiful pass out to Luke James who finishes in the corner! 🔥
Alex Sanderson loves it! Huge win for @SaleSharksRugby 👏#GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/ksfTexsG1n
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: John Afoa
- Lloyd (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- MacGinty (5)
- Yellow Cards: