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Saracens devour the Sharks

13 Mar 2005
Saracens devour the Sharks

The win saw Saracens jump into fifth place ahead of Gloucester, while Sale's chances of a shot at the Zurich Premiership title were lightly damaged.

Tevita Vaikona gave the home team the best of openings with a storming try in the ninth minute from 35 metres out, obliterating the attempted tackle by Steve Hanley. Glen Jackson made no mistake with the conversion.

He did make a hash of three subsequent penalties in the first half, although he managed two more to cancel out the two from Sale's Mike Hercus.

And he could do little else but miss the next two kicks.

The first was to convert the try Ben Johnston scored under the poles after Taine Randell had set him on his way with a rampage down the left.

The second was to convert from the same place after a penalty try was awarded for deliberately collapsing the scrum, sending Saracens in 27-6 ahead at the break.

Sale briefly sparked at the start of the second half, with Hercus landing a simple penalty after Sebastian Chabal's strong run.

They also were lacking the rub of the green, as referee Davey ruled out what seemed a perfectly good score by Dean Schofield in the 54th minute, Schofield ruled to have lost control of the ball as he grounded it.

Hercus added another penalty, but fifteen minutes from the end Johnston dotted down his second try from Jackson's cross-kick to seal the win and the bonus point.

Schofield finally got the try he deserved when he peeled away from a line-out and strode through some soft defending 10 minutes from time.

But Saracens snuffed out any chances of a Sale comeback and are now perfectly placed to continue their run up the rails for a top-three finish.

The scorers:

For Saracens:Tries: Johnston 2, Vaikona, Penalty tryCons: Jackson 3Pens Jackson 2

For Sale:Tries: SchofieldCon: HercusPens: Hercus 4

Saracens: 15 Mark Bartholomeusz, 14 Ben Johnston, 13 Thomas Castaignède, 12 Kevin Sorrell, 11 Tevita Vaikona, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Kyran Bracken, 8 Hugh Vyvyan (captain), 7 Ben Russell, 6 Taine Randell, 5 Simon Raiwalui, 4 Iain Fullarton, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Kevin Yates.Replacements: 16 Raphaël Ibañez, 17 Nick Lloyd, 18 Kris Chesney, 19 Moses Rauluni, 20 Dan Harris, 21 Dan Scarbrough, 22 Nicky Little.

Sale Sharks: 15 Steve Hanley, 14 Richard Wigglesworth, 13 Chris Rhys Jones, 12 John Payne, 11 Chris Mayor, 10 Mike Hercus, 9 Bryan Redpath, 8 Peter Anglesea, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 John Carter, 5 Chris Jones, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Barry Stewart, 2 Stuart Turner, 1 Sebastien Bozzi.Replacements: (from) Sililo Martens,Jason Duffy, Matt Riley Ben Coutts, Johnny Roddam, Sean Cox, Ben Lloyd, Pierre Caillet.

Referee: Sean DaveyTouch judges: Andy Melrose, David KurkAssessor: Roger Quittenton

For more news, try out Saracens v Sale Sharks

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