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Match Report: Sale Sharks 13-28 Saracens

21 Nov 2016
Match Report: Sale Sharks 13-28 Saracens

Saracens returned to the top of the table with their fourth successive Aviva Premiership Rugby victory.

Though they briefly fell behind to Sale Sharks midway through the first half, tries from Marcelo Bosch, Matt Gallagher and Ben Spencer saw them move back ahead of Bath Rugby, who had beaten Bristol Rugby 16-9 on Friday night.

Saracens were on the board on four minutes with a successful Alex Lozowski penalty after Sale Sharks were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown.

Sale though, who held Saracens to a thrilling 36-36 draw on their last trip to the AJ Bell Stadium, were more than a match for their visitors.

In search of a way back into the match wing Paolo Odogwu was pushed into touch as he sprinted for the line midway through the first half.

The pressure was intensifying and on 22 minutes Sale ran in the first try of the afternoon.

After turning down the chance to kick for goal several times, Cameron Neild led a driving mau l from the line-out and Josh Beaumont crossed for close range. Alan MacGinty added the extras.

Saracens were in front though, four minutes later when Schalk Brits found Marcelo Bosch in space to score. Lozowski converted.

The momentum was with the champions though MacGinty missed a chance to level the contest on 34 minutes when MacGinty’s penalty from long range fell wide of the uprights.

The half ended with Lozowski extending Saracens’ lead to six points following Bryn Evans’s knock-on.

Four minutes after the restart, half-time substitute Matt Gallagher bagged his first Saracens try.

On for wing Chris Wyles, Gallagher took no time to settle, going over in the corner after Brits had intercepted at the lineout. This time Lozowski was off target with his conversion attempt.

MacGinty and Lozowski again traded penalties, leaving an 11-point gap on the scoreboard when Halani Aulika was sent to the sin bin for the home side on the hour.

Yet it was the home side, depleted in numbers, who got the next score of the game. MacGinty once more successful from the tee.

Saracens’ Michael Rhodes was the next man shown a yellow card by Andrew Jackson, officiating in Aviva Premiership Rugby for the first time.

Despite Sale’s numerical advantage for the final ten minutes, Saracens ran in their third try of the match on 72 minutes.

Sam James, under heavy pressure, conceded possession to Lozowski and the ball was worked out to Ben Spencer on the right flank who sprinted to the corner.

Lozowski proving extremely reliable in the absence of Owen Farrell put the game beyond Sale with a fine conversion from the touchline.

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