- Gallagher Premiership
- Saturday, December 22nd 2018
- AJ Bell Stadium
Will Carpenter reports from AJ Bell Stadium
Report: Sale Sharks 27-10 Bristol Bears
Saturday, December 22nd 2018
Bristol Bears slipped to 27-10 defeat at the hands of Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A fine display of goal kicking from Robert Du Preez led the way for Sale, as the fly-half finished with a 17-point haul to back up tries in either half from Denny Solomona and Will Cliff.
Solomona squeezed in the corner midway through the first half as Steve Diamond’s men took an 11-point lead into half-time, before two more Du Preez penalties made it 20-3 on the hour mark.
Steven Luatua touched down 10 minutes from time to give Bristol a lifeline on a damp afternoon in Salford, but Cliff took advantage of some loose handling late on to seal the deal for the home side.
Bristol made a bright start at the AJ Bell and Ian Madigan opened the scoring for the visitors with a second-minute penalty after Charles Piutau and Luke Morahan had combined to force an opening in the wider channels.
Madigan was off target from long range six minutes later, before Bristol were reduced to 14 men midway through the half when George Smith was sin-binned for an adjudged trip on Chris Ashton. Du Preez slotted the resulting penalty to level the scores.
Bristol almost crossed for the first try when Madigan released Alapati Leiua down the left, but the Samoan was hauled down by the covering Solomona with the offload going astray.
At the other end, the Sale wing ensured a 14-point swing with a neat finish in the corner after more impressive work from Faf De Klerk, while two more Du Preez penalties edged the hosts further in front at the interval.
Pat Lam’s side made another bright start in the second-half as Randall and Luatua linked up to release the Bristol scrum-half down the right without reward.
Du Preez extended the Sale lead further with a fine long-range penalty and repeated the feat shortly after from much closer range, as the home side turned the screw.
Luatua forced his way over under the posts after an initial drive at the lineout, with Sheedy’s conversion putting Bristol within striking range of a losing bonus-point.
But Cliff applied an acrobatic finish after scooping up a loose ball in the Bristol ranks, with Du Preez’s conversion completing the win for Sale.
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, Hurrell, S Piutau (cc), Leiua (O’Conor 26); Madigan (Sheedy 56), Randall (Uren 51); Y Thomas (Woolmore 61), Thacker (Lindsay 74), Afoa (Thiede 74), Vui, Muldowney (Joyce 56), Luatua (cc), Smith (Thomas 56), Lam.
Replacements: Lindsay, Woolmore, Thiede, Joyce, D Thomas, Uren, Sheedy, O’Conor.
Sale Sharks: Ashton; Solomona, James, O'Connor, McGuigan; R Du Preez, De Klerk; Harrison, Webber, John, Beaumont, Phillips, Ross (c), T Curry, J-L Du Preez.
Replacements: Langdon, Bristow, Jones, Evans, Strauss, B Curry, Cliff, L James.
Bristol Bears: Tries: Luatua 69. Cons: Sheedy 69. Pens: Madigan 2. Yellow: Smith 15
Sale Sharks: Tries: Solomona 25, Cliff 79. Cons: Du Preez 79. Pens: Du Preez 16, 32, 39, 46, 60
After hauling down Alapati Leiua with a fine covering tackle at one end, Denny Solomona scored the game's opening try midway through the first-half, after a sniping break from Faf Da Klerk had taken Sale within inches of the whitewash.
The England wing dived over in the right-hand corner on 25 minutes for a try that brought an end to a 20-minute period of Bristol possession and territory and set the tone for a Sale win.
Photo of the match:
- Solomona, Cliff
- du Preez
- du Preez (5)
- Yellow Cards:
- Yellow Cards: