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Match Report: Sale Sharks 41 Cardiff Blues 3

27 Jan 2017
Match Report: Sale Sharks 41 Cardiff Blues 3

Laurence Pearce scored twice in a man-of-the-match performance as Sale Sharks beat Cardiff Blues to go top of their Anglo-Welsh Cup group with a comprehensive 41-3 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday night.

Steve Diamond’s men made it back-to-back wins in all competitions with a dominant display which also saw them claim a bonus point as they ran in six tries and a penalty try.

Tries from Pearce either side of the interval put the Sharks in the ascendancy in the match, which demonstrated the confidence they gained from beating Scarlets last weekend in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Scores from Denny Solomona, Jonathan Mills, Neil Briggs, and James Flynn completed the rout sending their opponents back to South Wales with no consolation.

In the tenth minute, winger Solomona raced around the Blues defence after some fine handling by Pearce and Tom Curry to give the Sharks the first try of the game which AJ MacGinty converted with precision.

With 23 minutes on the clock, the home side doubled their lead as their powerful scrum drove ten yards to the line, allowing Jonathan Mills to score under the posts.

Jarrod Evans got his side off the mark with a kick in front of the sticks six minutes later.

Steve Diamond’s men’s supremacy in the scrum paid dividends a few minutes from the break when back-rower Pearce bundled over the line to give them a 16-point advantage at half time.

Pearce struck again in the 52nd minute after veering round the Cardiff pack to score the Sharks’ fifth try.

Shortly after, the Blues lost their discipline with Seb Davies and Morgan Sienawski going in the sin bin in quick succession for reckless challenges.

Neil Briggs took advantage of the extra two men when he touched down a few minutes later after another surge in the Sale scrum.

With ten minutes remaining, substitute James Flynn extended the lead further after some strong scrum play to bring more pain to the Blues.

A penalty try converted by McGuigan made the scoreline more convincing at the death.

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