SALE Sharks took the honours with some fast flowing rugby against a plucky Scarlets side.
Sharks recorded a bonus point win and if they get a result at Wasps next week it could earn Sharks a semi final place in the LV=Cup.
Scarlets took the lead on three minutes when Andy Fenby hacked the ball forward and touched down under the Sharks posts. Williams converted to silence the home fans.
Sale Sharks were dealt an early injury blow when captain David Seymour was injured in midfield. He got back to his feet after treatment and rejoined the action but was clearly not 100 per cent and was replaced by James Doyle on eleven minutes.
Sharks put points on the board a minute later with a Cipriani penalty from 25metres out.
However it was Scarlets who went further ahead on 20 minutes after a good move down their right and scrum half Gareth Davies crossed the Sharks line. Williams converted from the touch line and Sale were struggling to cope with the Scarlets attacking play.
Amesbury and Tuitupou created valuable metres and Scarlets infringed again to give Cipriani a straight forward kick at goal (6-14).
Cipriani converted his third penalty on 27 minutes but referee Tempest was getting tired at the visitors persistent infringements and threatened a yellow card to the next guilty party. True to his word tempest binned Jake Ball on 30 mins.
Sharks took full advantage in Ball’s absence scoring two tries. Richie Vernon was awarded a try after the TMO looked at his grounding. Cipriani missed the conversion but Sharks were back in the game at 14 all. The try was Vernon’s fourth of the season making him joint top scorer with Mark Cueto on four. Sale save their best move of the half till the final seconds with a fast flowing move right to left and Charlie Amesbury got a well deserved try in the corner. Danny Cipriani converted from the touch line. Amesbury’s speed and ability to twist and turn in the tackle was evident on several occasions and he was proving a real handful for Scarlets Half Time Sale Sharks 21 Scarlets 14 After the break Scarlets regrouped and were first on the scoreboard with a Williams penalty on 48 minutes which Cipriani cancelled out 5 minutes later with a penalty of his own.
Scarlets hadn’t learned from the first half yellow card and referee tempest despatched Rhodri Jones on the hour after several further infringements.
Dan Braid making his home debut organising the forwards and was a busy man all afternoon, earning the man of the match award. Cameron Shepherd too had an excellent game at Full Back.
On 64 minutes an excellent break by Kearnan Myall and Richie Vernon ended with Danny Cipriani breaking the line and diving in for a try which he converted. 31-17 Sharks were hungry for the bonus point and it came on 75 minutes went debutant Charlie Ingall scored in the corner. Cipriani was unable to convert the try but the 3108 crowd who had braved the cold had seen Sharks record a bonus point win.