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Late rally sees Sarries overcome Sale

02 May 2004
Late rally sees Sarries overcome Sale

Saracens gave their loyal fans hope for next season, with a gritty display which saw them claim both the first and last word.

With 10 minutes played, home scrum-half Morgan Williams broke towards the posts before feeding Nicky Little, and the Fijian fly-half's chip was gathered by Thomas Castaignède who touched down for the opening try.

Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson steadied his ship with some wonderful use of his boot, his hands and his mind.

Straight form the re-start, the England man cut through the Saracens midfield before giving Steve Hanley a 40-metre run to the tryline.

Hodgson converted before adding two penalties to give his side an 18-6 lead at the break.

Little pulled his side back into contention with two penalties of his own in the opening stages of the second half. But his hard work was undone by a loose Kevin Sorrell pass which was picked off by Hanley on the halfway line, and the former England wing raced in to notch up his 13th Premiership try of the season.

Hodgson's conversion opened up what should have been a decisive lead – only for Saracens to turn the game on its head after Little had kicked his fourth penalty goal.

England Sevens star Richard Haughton got on the end of a loose pass to scorch in from long-range, and Sorrell made up for his earlier mistake by forcing his way under the posts for a converted try.

With Saracens in the lead and firmly in the driving seat, Sale began to panic and were forced to concede a penalty within range – Little made no mistake .

The game was over up for Sale when referee Roy Maybank awarded a penalty try after ruling that the Sharks had dragged down a scrum on their own line – Little nudged over the convertion and the the visitors' goose was well and truly cooked.

The scorers:

For Saracens:Tries: Haughton, Sorrell, Castaignède, Penalty tryCons: Little 2 Pens: Little 5

For Sale Sharks: Tries: Hanley 2Cons: Hodgson 2Pens: Hodgson 3

For more news, try out Saracens v Sale Sharks

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