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Sharks get cup revenge over Exiles Sharks get cup revenge over Exiles

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Sharks get cup revenge over Exiles

Sale gained a modicum of revenge for their defeat at the Madejski Stadium last weekend by kicking off their LV= Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory over London Irish.

The Sharks lost 39-26 in Sunday's Aviva Premiership Rugby clash between the sides but this time it was the Exiles on the receiving end as the home side scored six tries.

A ninth-minute score from homegrown youngster Tom Brady put Sale on their way before Fergus Mulchrone (two) and Iain Thornley also went over to establish a 25-0 interval lead. Rhys Crane and Chris Leck added further tries in the second half against an understrength Irish outfit showing 12 changes to the side that started last weekend's match.

There was a youthful energy about Sale that Irish struggled to cope with during the opening 40 minutes and Rob Miller's long-range penalty put them ahead inside the second minute. The Sharks began to ask questions of the Irish defence and in the ninth minute their enterprise was rewarded when Brady grounded in the left corner.

Stand-in skipper Paul Williams missed the conversion and moments later Sale were dealt a blow when Brady sustained what appeared to be a shoulder injury. He was replaced by Thornley but the momentum remained with the home side and the second try arrived when Williams' fine burst cut the Irish defence apart and he showed intelligence to send Mulchrone scampering clear.

Williams added the extras but Irish could have been off the mark five minutes later when fly-half Chris Malone saw his penalty attempt rebound off a post. Two minutes before the break, Sale scored their third try when Miller's superb long pass allowed Mulchrone to crash over for his second in the left corner.

Mulchrone then unselfishly put Thornley over in the same spot on the stroke of half-time and shortly before the hour Crane capitalised on a defensive mistake to break away from inside his own half to score. Miller converted and added the extras again when replacement scrum-half Leck sauntered clear for a try with 13 minutes remaining.

Irish claimed a long-range breakaway try from Marland Yarde which Malone converted before Sale's replacement prop Karena Wihongi was sent to the sinbin late on. The Exiles had the final say when Chris Hala'Ufia went over in the dying embers of the game and Malone kicked his second conversion.

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