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Match Report: Harlequins 51-23 Sale Sharks

01 Sep 2018
Match Report: Harlequins 51-23 Sale Sharks

Ben Tapuai’s debut double helped Harlequins to a bonus-point win over Sale Sharks in Paul Gustard’s first competitive match at the helm.

The summer arrival from Bath got the first try, AJ MacGinty and Marland Yarde then responded for Sale before Nathan Earle got his debut score in the corner.

After the break through it was all Harlequins as Joe Marchant, Marcus Smith and Max Crumpton all touched down to round off a perfect opening day for the London side.

The season-opener at Twickenham Stoop began with Sale dominating much of the territory but Smith put Harlequins ahead after MacGinty conceded a penalty inside the 22.

MacGinty levelled on 17 minutes but then a measured Smith kick resulted in a period of home pressure that eventually saw Tapuai smash his way over five minutes later.

The Sharks were in no mood to submit and a delightful MacGinty step earned a first try before Yarde broke down the left and then recollected to register a superb try on his return to the Stoop.

MacGinty added another penalty before Aaron Morris sliced through the Sale defence from a quick lineout to allow Earle to touch down in the corner.

Harlequins led 24-20 at the break and the two fly-halves exchanged penalties before the Londoners registered the bonus point with Marchant bursting over the tryline.

Sale rallied and dominated possession for 15 minutes but Harlequins produced a sting in the tail when Danny Care’s pop pass found Smith without opposition to cross the whitewash.

And the home side didn’t stop there, as replacement Crumpton powered over from short range two minutes from time to seal an impressive six-try win.