Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 21-15 Worcester Warriors
Josh Beaumont and Denny Solomona both scored as Sale Sharks got their first Gallagher Premiership Rugby win of the season at home to Worcester Warriors.
The hosts were superb in the first half and led 18-0 thanks to Beaumont’s score in the corner following a Marland Yarde lay-off and Solomona’s interception try.
But Worcester hit back hard in the second half and scored tries through Bryce Heem and Chris Pennell, ensuring Sale had to hold on at the end.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Back in the team and back on the scoresheet, it was certainly a day to remember for Sale No.8 Josh Beaumont.
The 26-year-old was left out of the starting XV last weekend but returned at the AJ Bell Stadium and was superb throughout.
Beaumont scored a key try in the first half – planting the ball down following Marland Yarde’s clever off-load.
And in the second half he played his part in seeing the game out, making 15 tackles to help thwart the Warriors’ attack.
TRY OF THE MATCH
Worcester attacked with gusto in the second half and almost snatched their first win of the season – showing what they can do under Alan Solomons.
Bryce Heem got the first try but Chris Pennell’s was arguably better as the Warriors grew in confidence.
Coming at the end of a neat passing move, popular full-back Pennell strolled through and dotted down just after the hour-mark.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Sale defended resiliently at the end of the second half but it was their near-escape at the end of the first which set up this win.
After being deprived of the ball for much of the opening 40, Worcester finally got some possession and territory towards the end of the half.
They piled on the pressure with wings Heem and Josh Adams both threatening with some clever off-the-shoulder lines.
But at the end of a 37-phase move, they spilled the ball and Sale escaped to half-time – preserving their 18-point lead. With the way Worcester came back after the break, that moment proved crucial.
WHAT THEY SAID
Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond “At half time all we said was keep doing what we do, if we keep the same amount of ball second half then we will win the game.
“The makeup of it was that we came out the blocks first half, we had a lot of ball and played well. We defended 25/30 phases before half time so we came in with all the positives.
“We were not swinging from the chandelier in the changing room, we just said that we have started well, so let’s make sure we put this game to bed. In the end it was enough.”
Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons: “I thought in the second half we had our opportunities to close up the game, particularly at the end.
“We showed real resilience when we were 18-0 down at half time. We came right back into the game and that was really important for us.
“It is strange that though we did not score, but the 30-odd phases just before half-time turned things a bit.
“I was not satisfied with the first half performance, it was not good, but I was satisfied with the second half performance.
“Obviously I would have liked us to have won the game, it was the same as last week because we got really close, but the least we deserved was a bonus point.
“Both games we could have and should have won.”
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA
— Sale Sharks🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) September 9, 2018
🎥 “We made a rod for our back in the first-half so we showed great resilience coming back and had a chance at the end to take the game.”
Alan Solomons reflects on today’s game at Sale… pic.twitter.com/xCqTXnGHGb
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) September 9, 2018
Big @JoshBeaumont1 looking very effective at 8 today.
Well taken try too.#SALvWOR
— JB (@Jbeardmore) September 9, 2018
— Ali Stokes (@alistokesrugby) September 9, 2018