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Sharks triumph in the wind and rain
11:56am Monday 23rd December 2013 in Trafford Sport
Sale Sharks 15 London Irish 3
SALE finished the year at the AJ Bell Stadium with a good win over London Irish on a wet and windy night on Friday.
Sale Sharks kicked off towards the North End and the strength of the wind was evident as Danny Cipriani's kick went dead.
The deadlock was broken on 19 minutes after Danny Cipriani put in a kick which popped up viciously and Fenby missed it completely. Tom Brady took full advantage and ran in for the opening try. Cipriani's conversion was well struck and Sharks led 7-0.
On 23 minutes Sharks lost Mark Jennings with a leg injury and Phil Mackenzie took his place. Cueto moved to centre with Mackenzie on the wing.
Sharks went further ahead on 27 minutes when Paterson pinched a lineout and the Sharks set up the now famous driving maul. David Seymour touched down to increase the lead to 12-0.
Cipriani's conversion attempt was caught by the wind and finished well off target. The wind was increasing all the time and this was evident when O'Leary's restart ended up behind him.
At the half-rime whistle, Sale Sharks held a 12.0 lead.
The conditions were even worse when the game restarted and London Irish soon found out that even slightly over-hit kicks went dead.
Mackenzie made a break for Sale before losing his footing. The ball was then taken up by Paterson who also lost his footing. Shortly afterwards, London Irish were penalised at the scrum and Cipriani lined up his kick, took his time and slotted the ball home for a 15-0 lead.
London Irish made several substitutions before the restart as they tried to get a foothold in the game.
On 51 minutes Hala'ufia was sin-binned for a tip tackle on David Seymour after referee Wigglesworth took a second opinion from the TMO. Irish then put together their best phases before they were penalised for holding on in the tackle.
Irish earned a penalty on 67 minutes and Ian Humphreys opted to goal for goal 40 metres out. His kick was perfect and Irish were on the board at 15-3.
But Sale’s powerful pack ensured Sharks secured the game points and moved up to sixth place in the Aviva Premiership on the evening.
Sale Sharks: Rob Miller, Tom Brady, Mark Jennings (off 23 mins), Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel (off 66 mins), Ross Harrison (off 53 mins), Tommy Taylor (off 53 mins), Vadim Cobilas (off 53 mins), Jonathan Mills (off 53 mins), Michael Paterson, Dan Braid, David Seymour, James Gaskell.
Replacements: Marc Jones (for Taylor 53 mins), Eifion Lewis-Roberts (for Ross Harrison 57 mins), Henry Thomas (for Cobilas 53 mins), Kirill Kulemin, Andrei Ostrikov (for Mills 53 mins), Will Cliff (for Peel 66 mins), Joe Ford, Phil Mackenzie (for Jennings 23 mins).