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Saracens 24 Sale Sharks 19

30 Nov 2013
Saracens 24 Sale Sharks 19

Saracens left it late but a George Kruis try five minutes from time secured the Fez Heads a fifth straight Aviva Premiership home win 24-19 at the expense of Sale Sharks.

The visitors had led 13-6 at the interval thanks to an impressive 40 minutes from Danny Cipriani, who converted his own try and notched a drop goal late in the half to add to a long range penalty from full-back Rob Miller.

But a maiden Jack Wilson try, 14 points from the boot of Charlie Hodgson and Kruis’ late intervention ensured Saracens ended the day on top of the table, Sale mustering just six points after the break with penalties for Cipriani and replacement Nick Macleod.

With just a minute gone Sale conceded a penalty that Hodgson slotted from 25 yards to give Saracens an early lead.

Good pressure from Sale then forced Alex Goode to fumble inside his own 22 and Cipriani swiftly collected the loose ball to cruise under the posts for a converted score.

There was a long stoppage while Will Fraser was treated for a suspected broken foot and possible knee ligament damage, the back rower eventually stretchered off to be replaced by Kelly Brown, while Hodgson and Miller exchanged penalties.

On the stroke of half-time Cipriani nailed a superb drop goal to give Sale hopes of staging an unlikely upset, some superb defending added to opportunistic finishing giving them the lead.

Saracens came flying out of the traps at the start of the second period and Wilson soon found a gap in the Sale defence to slide over for a try on his Aviva Premiership debut.

Hodgson failed to add the two points and Sale went straight up the other end to earn a penalty of their own, which Cipriani slotted confidently.

Sale winger Charlie Ingall then had a try disallowed by the video referee for a knock-on in the build-up before Hodgson notched a penalty from close range.

Wave after wave of attack from the Londoners was finally rewarded when George Kruis was bundled over in the left hand corner despite some desperate Sale defending. Hodgson arrowed the conversion between the posts to give Saracens a decisive 21-16 lead.

With the clock ticking down Hodgson stepped up to knock over his fourth successful penalty effort of the afternoon, and there was still time for substitute Macleod to reply in kind and get Sale within five points with the final kick of the game.

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