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Sharks gore Titans after slow start

27 Dec 2003
Sharks gore Titans after slow start

Sharks fly-half Charlie Hodgson opened the scoring for his side in the first minute with a well-struck penalty, but Rotherham No.10 Paul Jones was driven over for a try, which he converted himself, to put his side ahead by 7-3 just one minute later.

Hodgson then narrowed the gap to just one point with his second penalty attempt some five minutes later and then England star Robinson – starting in the relatively unfamiliar position of outside centre – put his side on the road to victory, with a break, pass and touchdown after fullback Vaughan Going had also handled.

Hodgson, Sale's first-choice kicker in the absence of the injured Braam van Straaten, slotted the conversion, putting the home side ahead by 13-7, but the suffering did not stop there for the visitors, as the Sharks added one more converted try – by left-wing Steve Hanley – shortly before the break.

Regular skipper Bryan Redpath made all the running in the lead-up to Hanley's try after replacing injured starting No.9 Nick Walshe (leg) in the 31st minute. Robinson fielded a kick from Titans fullback Bernardo Stortoni and Redpath did the damage with a strong run before Hanley finished in the corner.

Their 20-7 lead, however, soon became 25-7 when No.8 Chris Jones burst over for a score in the fourth minute of the second stanza.

Hodgson missed the conversion, but slotted his third penalty of the day just one minute before the advent of the final quarter, leaving his side ahead at 28-7 – well and truly in control, despite Rotherham's good start to the game, which saw their new signings – Andy Long, Corniel van Zyl and Des Tuiavii – get stuck in early on.

Chris Jones completed his brace of tries on the stroke of full-time, giving Sale their four-try bonus point, with Hodgson adding the extras again, and condemning the Titans to their 13th successive loss in the 2003/04 Zurich Premiership season.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:Tries: Robinson, Hanley, C Jones 2Cons: Hodgson 3Pens: Hodgson 3

For Rotherham Titans:Try: P JonesCon: P Jones

For more news, try out Sale Sharks v Rotherham Titans

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