11:08am Friday 4th September 2009
By Fred Harvey
SALE Sharks emerged victorious against Exeter at Edgeley Park on Friday thanks to a bright first-half performance.
In a game of two halves, the promotion chasing side pegged back Kingsley Jones’s men to a four-point winning margin. Debutant Sisaro Koyamaibole started the scoring in the sixth minute, crossing the line through sheer strength, with several defenders hanging on to him to no avail.
Try number two was a clinical finish from Sharks’ skipper Dean Schofield, who crashed under the posts for Charlie Hodgson to convert.
Talented youngster James Gaskell ran in try number three on 31 minutes, backing himself to outpace three defenders. The general feeling was that 17-nil could be the start of a scoring feast, but it was not to be.
Danny Gray clawed back a penalty before the break, and his second half replacement at fly half, Gareth Steenson, started to push the Sharks back into the corners.
Mark Foster scored the Chiefs’ lone try, converted by Steenson, who added a penalty. Chris Bell had a chance near the end to alter the scoreline, but ran out of space and support.
For the second successive week, the Sharks had outscored their opponents by three tries to one, but had not achieved the expected emphatic win.
They struggled during the second half at set piece and lineout, giving the management team plenty to work on at Carrington this week before champions Leicester Tigers arrive on Friday to start the Guinness Premiership season in the night’s only game. Kick off is 7.45 pm.
On Saturday, the club’s younger players were on view at Stockport RUFC. The morning game saw the Under-18 Academy lose 9-11 to Munster Schools, the game’s only try coming from Crosse in the eighth minute of ‘added’ time. The young Sharks’ scores came from penalties by Dorian Jones and Tom Bell (2).
In the afternoon, the club appeared in the Cheshire Cup for the first time, and a young Jets side had too much pace for their opponents Stockport, running in tries from Jordan Davies, Dan Hall, Dan Birchall, Jack Turton, Ben Davey and Alex Shaw, Mark Atkinson adding four conversions.
Final score 38-0. The Jets – the club’s second string – open up their Guinness ‘A’ League campaign away at Newcastle Falcons next Monday (7.00 pm)
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