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Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 7-7 Sale Sharks

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 7-7 Sale Sharks

Joe Cokanasiga’s late try rescued a share of the spoils for Bath Rugby in a wet and windy low-scoring Gallagher Premiership Rugby clash with Sale Sharks on Sunday.

With points at a premium in tough conditions at the Rec – the game was scoreless in the first half.

That was the first time since April 2016 that no team had scored a point in the first half of a Gallagher Premiership Rugby game as both Freddie Burns and Rob du Preez missed penalties.

But Jean-Luc du Preez crashed over at the start of the second period for the Sharks before Cokanasiga cancelled out that score to end the game as a 7-7 draw.


It was hardly a day for running rugby, and Faf de Klerk had to kick the leather off the ball for much of the game.

But the Springbok No.9 made off with the man of the match medal as he led the Sharks in attack and defence for a vital two points that lifts them off the foot of the table.


Denny Solomona thought he had scored the game’s first try just before the interval.

The England winger hared after Rob du Preez’s perfect cross-field kick and looked to have gathered and grounded in the right corner – but Cokanasiga did just enough to put his fellow international flyer off and the TMO adjudged it a knock on.


Former Wallaby Cooper Vuna climbed off the bench and gave the Rec something to shout about with an incredible try assist.

Vuna shrugged off two tacklers down the left wing before laying a clever kick back infield for Cokanasiga to collect and slide over.


Bath coach Darren Edwards:

“I think it’s two points lost – this is our home game – we needed to win this.

“There were opportunities, particularly in the first half, to get more points on the board and we didn’t get there.

“Sometimes you can reflect if there were some kicks there for us rather than going for the corner, it’s a fine balance in building pressure and actually taking points.”

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:

“We created enough chances – I thought we could have won it. We just couldn’t to get over the line.

“We defended well enough. The draw was a fair result.”

“If you’re a purist – and you had to be a purist to enjoy a game like that – it was highly attritional.”


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