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Match Report: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

25 Feb 2017
Match Report: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

Saracens recorded their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win since New Year’s Day with a 29-18 success over an in-form Sale Sharks side.

The reigning champions have lost to Gloucester Rugby and Worcester Warriors in the last two weeks but scored three tries at Allianz Park on Saturday afternoon to return to winning ways.

Sale Sharks were on a run of five straight wins in all competitions, including a 34-28 success over league leaders Wasps last weekend, but were unable to contain the hosts.

Duncan Taylor and Chris Ashton got the Saracens’ tries in the first half before Magnus Lund pulled one back for the Sharks.

Nathan Earle’s try confirmed the victory before Cameron Neild added a late consolation for the Sharks.

Will Addison opened the scoring for Sale with a penalty in the first minute but he limped off soon after and was replaced by AJ MacGinty.

Taylor had the first try of the match on his return from injury as the Aviva Premiership Rugby champions took the lead for the first time.

Macginty had his first points of the afternoon with 16 minutes played but Alex Lozowski cancelled out that effort barely a minute later to make the score 8-6 to the hosts.

Ashton then extended the home side’s lead as he latched onto a kick from scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth with the bounce favouring the Saracens winger and allowing him to touch down.

Lozowski added the extras for Saracens and two further penalties for the fly-half gave Saracens an 21-6 lead to take into the break.

Ashton was forced to show his defensive capabilities early in the second half as he put in a try-saving tackle on Josh Beaumont which forced the No.8 into touch.

But the Sharks weren’t to be denied for long however as flanker Lund touched down following an excellent kick through from Sam James to bring the visitors back into the game.

MacGinty added the extras to bring the Sharks back to within eight points with an hour played.

Lozowski’s accuracy with the boot kept the Saracens score ticking along though with his fourth penalty of the match to make it 24-13 with 64 minutes played.

And Ashton was key once again for the Saracens’ third try as he arrived at pace before putting centre Brad Barrett into space and Earle was on hand to score in the corner.

Lozowski wasn’t able to add the conversion but with just over ten minutes left to play, the reigning champions led 29-13.

Replacement Neild was able to give Sharks hope with a late try as the visitors pushed for a losing bonus point but MacGinty wasn’t able to slot the conversion.

Saracens spent the final moments inside the Sharks 22 pushing for the try bonus point but were unable to unlock the visitors’ defence as the game ended 29-18.

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