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Match Report: Bath Rugby 32 Sale Sharks 26

23 Apr 2016
Match Report: Bath Rugby 32 Sale Sharks 26

Bath Rugby showed their fighting spirit to hold off a fierce Sale Sharks with a 32-26 bonus-point Aviva Premiership Rugby victory at the Rec.

Ollie Devoto and Charlie Ewels crossed in the first half as Bath raced into a 17-0 lead, but Sale hit back at the start of the second half.

Two tries from Johnny Leota and Andrei Ostrikov got them right back in it, both converted by Danny Cipriani on his 100th Sharks appearance.

But Bath were not to be beaten and Semesa Rokoduguni and Will Homer both went over to secure the bonus-point success.

Still, TJ Ioane and Leota went over in the dying stages to at least pick up two bonus points in their battle for a top six spot.

Bath were quickly ahead, opening the scoring in the second minute of the game.  Good work from David Denton allowed George Ford to pass to Devoto and the centre broke through two tackles to cross the line, Ford kicking the conversion to add the extra two points.

Ten minutes later Bath pulled further ahead with another converted try.  Sale were penalised for a scrum penalty and Bath took a quick tap and go with the resulting free-kick.

Bath charged forward and Ewels piled over the line from the back of the ruck with some assistance from hooker Rob Webber. Ford again added the extras taking the score to 14-0.

Bath completed the first-half scoring shortly before the quarter of an hour mark.

Sale were penalised for not rolling away inside their own ten-metre line and Ford landed the penalty from around 40 metres.

Sale pulled themselves back within touching distance of Bath with two quick tries early in the second half.

Three minutes into the second half Sale won a line just inside the Bath 22.  They drove forward with a maul and Leota was there to score with a pick and go. Cipriani added the extra from the left-hand touch-line.

Four minutes later and Sale were within a penalty of levelling the game. A driving maul saw the try awarded to Ostrikov after a TMO review. Cipriani again adding the extras from a similar position to his first conversion.

A great driving run by Devoto earned Bath a penalty just outside the Sale 22, which was duly converted by Ford to extend Bath's lead once again.

Bath scored their third try of the game just before the hour mark with Rokoduguni diving in at the corner after his initial break had given Bath territory.  

Ford missed the chance to extend the lead further pulling his conversion attempt narrowly wide.

Ten minutes later Bath had earned the bonus point victory with a great individual effort from replacement scrum-half Homer.

Sale grabbed a third try with Ioane going in at the corner with three minutes remaining, the resulting conversion being missed.

But with the final play Leota completed a double, and from in front of the posts Joe Ford converted to ensure Sale left with something for their efforts.

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