20 - 13HT 13 - 3

AJ Bell Stadium
Att TBC
Fri 08 Jan 21, 8:00pm

Highlights & Report | Sale Sharks 20-13 Worcester Warriors

Warriors were rewarded for a gutsy display with a losing bonus point but it could so easily have been more at a bitterly cold AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale were frustrated for long periods by an outstanding defensive display and Warriors showed tremendous character and resilience to secure the bonus point with a late penalty try after Sale had opened up a 14 points lead with a close range try from Jono Ross.

There was plenty to encourage Jonathan Thomas in his first match since being promoted to Head Coach even if the result was not what the former Wales flanker wanted.

With Ollie Lawrence sidelined as precautionary measure having taking a knock to a shoulder, Oli Morris again took his chance to impress with a destructive display in defence and a number of big carries in attack.

The pack, well led by captain Ted Hill, matched Sale’s physicality in the set pieces and the loose and only in the battle for aerial supremacy did Sale have a slight edge.

Warriors dominated the first quarter of each half but it was Sale who got the first points on the board when fly-half AJ McGinty landed a long range penalty.

The lead was extended within three minutes when Faf de Klerk muscled over for a try having initially created the opening with a break from a lineout.

McGinty added the extras and although he was off-target with a penalty attempt, he soon added one from closer range to pass 500 career points in the Premiership.

But Warriors finished the half strongly with Justin Clegg forcing a knock-on from the restart and when Sale took down the resulting scrum then infringed in the loose, Weir stroked over the penalty right on the stroke of half-time.

Weir reduced the gap to seven points with another penalty after 57 minutes which rewarded Warriors for patience in attack during another lengthy period of pressure.

But Weir was narrowly off-target with another long range penalty attempt 11 minutes from time and instead it was Sale who got the decisive score when Ross drove over after Warriors had repelled a series of close range attacks with furious defence.

The chance of a win may have gone but Warriors finished strongly with backs joining forwards in an effective driving maul which Sale checked illegally – Tom Curry was sin-binned for collapsing it – and referee Wayne Barnes had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try.

There was just enough time for the restart kick and although Cornell du Preez collected it and tried to launch a final attack, Weir took the sensible and pragmatic decision to bank the bonus point.

Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell (Shillcock 77), 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Nick David, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard (Simpson 77), 1 Ethan Waller (Thomas 70), 2 Niall Annett (Miller 63), 3 Nick Schonert (Palframan 77), 4 Anton Bresler (Merrick 58), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic (Lewis 66) , 8 Marco Mama (du Preez 66).

Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 George Merrick, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Sam Lewis, 22 Gareth Simpson, 23 Jamie Shillcock.

Timeline

20m | McGinty pen 3-0
23m | De Klerk try 8-0
24m | McGinty con 10-0
37m | McGinty pen 13-0
40m | Weir pen 13-3
57m | Weir pen 13-6
76m | Ross try 18-6
77m | McGinty con 20-6
79m | Penalty Try 20-13

Competition: Gallagher Premiership Rugby
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Game Type: Away
Fixture Round: 6
Attendance:
No. Name T C D P
15 Sam James
14 Tom Roebuck
13 Robert du Preez
12 Sam Hill
11 Marland Yarde
10 AJ MacGinty 2C 2P
9 Faf de Klerk 1T
1 Bevan Rodd
2 Akker van der Merwe
3 Coenie Oosthuizen
4 Cobus Wiese
5 JP du Preez
6 Jono Ross 1T
7 Tom Curry
8 Josh Beaumont
Replacements
16 Curtis Langdon
17 Valery Morozov
18 Jake Cooper-Woolley
19 James Phillips
20 Sam Dugdale
21 Will Cliff
22 Luke James
23 Byron McGuigan