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Sale Sharks 36 Scarlets 17

26 Jan 2013
Sale Sharks 36 Scarlets 17

Danny Cipriani recovered from a shaky start to lead Sale Sharks to a 36-17 LV= Cup victory over Scarlets at Salford City Stadium.

The fly-half misjudged an early ball to allow Andy Fenby to put the Welsh side ahead inside five minutes, his try being added to by Gareth Davies as Scarlets looked for a first win in England since November 2010.

But after Richie Vernon and Charlie Amesbury had Sale ahead at half-time Cipriani went over himself after the interval and Charlie Ingall secured the bonus point late on as Sale recorded just their third win over Welsh opposition in eight attempts.

Scarlets started brightly with an incisive Adam Warren run in the opening minute, breaking through several Sale tackles only for the move to end with a knock on.

However minutes later Scarlets were gifted a try when Cipriani attempted to control the ball with his feet after Dwayne Peel failed to deal with it, with Fenby taking full advantage of the confusion with a kick and rush which he duly collected and finished under the posts, with Owen Williams converting.

Cipriani got the first points on the board for Sale in the 14th minute with a 35m kick over the posts from a central position to get the home side to within four points of their Welsh opposition.

But Scarlets increased their lead in the 21st minute when Kristian Phillips collected a long box kick and offloaded to Davies to touch down, Williams adding the extras.

Cipriani doubled his and Sale’s points tally in the 24th minute with a routine penalty, before adding another three minutes later.

This got Sale back in touch and Vernon’s close range try following a collapsing ruck drew them level while Scarlets were without yellow carded Jake Ball.

Cipriani missed the conversion but Sale went into the interval 21-14 ahead after Amesbury finished off a flowing move out on the wing, with Cipriani adding the testing extras from out wide.

The home side started the second half menacingly with Amesbury chasing down a long kick downfield to push Scarlets into touch five metres out.

But Scarlets made the first impression on the scoreboard after the break with a successfully converted Williams penalty in the 48th minute to take them within four points.

However Sale put further daylight between themselves and the Welsh side with former fly-half Cipriani’s 56th-minute penalty.

With 20 minutes remaining Scarlets prop Rhodri Jones was sin-binned for an infringement at the breakdown, but Cipriani skewed the resulting penalty.

But he atoned for his early mistake by finding a gap in the Scarlets defence after a Sale break away to dive over the whitewash, with a conversion to match to fully take advantage of the extra man.

And Sale sealed the victory with replacement Ingall’s 75th-minute try, breaking through the Scarlets back line after the ball was switched right, but Cipriani missed the conversion.

The Sharks finished the game strongly in a half in which they dominated, with Steve Diamond’s men picking up just their second win in ten games in all competitions.

For more news, try out Match Report Sale Sharks