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Match Report: Sale Sharks 38 London Irish 10

30 Jan 2016
Match Report: Sale Sharks 38 London Irish 10

Nev Edwards continued his run of try-scoring form with a double at the AJ Bell Stadium as Sale Sharks eased past London Irish.

Sale – beaten just once on home soil in Aviva Premiership Rugby in the last 12 months – held a slender lead at the break, after an Exiles penalty try followed scores for Brian Mujati and TJ Ioane.
Sam James got the second half off to a flying start with the home side’s third try before Edwards, who had scored four in his last three games in all competitions, crossed over twice in the space of seven minutes.
And Sam Tuitupou rubbed some salt into the Exiles’ wounds with a sixth try ten minutes from time.
Irish – without a home win in the league this season – began in determined fashion and, after a sustained period of pressure, they were awarded a penalty, which Shane Geraghty converted.
Sale hit back immediately, with first Will Addison and then Danny Cipriani charging towards the line before prop Mujati eventually went over.
Midway through the half, after a spell of sustained pressure, TJ Ioane eventually squeezed the ball over the line to give the Sharks a nine-point advantage.
With the wind and the hail whipping across the ground, London Irish had much the better of a scrappy middle period to the half, but Geraghty couldn’t quite marshal the conditions to secure a further three points.
Their luck didn’t get much better when Will Lloyd thought he had brought his side back into it, charging through to slide over the line, only for the TMO to disallow the try for a knock-on.
With the away side firmly in the ascendancy, Cipriani spilled a simple pass in a dangerous position, gifting London Irish a scrum that was the first of many.
And they got their rewards for a spirited fightback when the referee awarded a penalty try following a long spell camped on the Sale line.
Sale resumed after half time with far greater determination, and restored their nine-point lead when James went over following some attractive rugby, and Cipriani converted.
With neither side taking a firm grip on second-half proceedings, Sale were content to pen their opponents back inside their own 22, a tactic that paid dividends when they secured the ball in a dangerous position.
A beautifully flowing move, out of keeping with the beginning of the half, resulted in the Sharks securing a bonus point through Edwards, who danced down the line to score.
And Edwards went over again with 19 minutes to go, finding himself in acres of space on the wing, and collecting the pass following a break from James.
With the Exiles struggling to contain the rampant hosts, Tuitupou secured yet another try, going over after a driving maul with ten minutes to go.
London Irish thought they had at least reduced the deficit with six minutes to go, but, after consultation with the TMO, the try, secured by a rolling maul, was ruled out.

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