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Match Report: Sale Sharks 30 Harlequins 29

06 Jan 2018
Match Report: Sale Sharks 30 Harlequins 29

A late Faf De Klerk penalty gave Sale Sharks victory over Harlequins in a pulsating Aviva Premiership Rugby clash at the AJ Bell stadium.

The hosts made a superb start to the contest and after just seven minutes, Byron McGuigan was able to thunder his way over the whitewash after a neat Sharks move.

And three minutes later the hosts had their second try as they turned over Harlequins before Will Addison and Ben Curry linked up well to find Janse Van Rensburg who extended Sale’s lead.

But the visitors rallied in emphatic fashion and after a driving maul, Alofa Alofa was able to go over from close range to reduce the deficit.

An AJ MacGinty penalty extended Sale’s advantage but two tries in the space of seven minutes flipped the game on its head.

Charlie Walker was first to Mat Luamanu’s long boot as he turned on the afterburners to dot down before Alofa danced through the Sale defence and popped the ball to Ross Chisholm to complete the turnaround.

Sale were stunned having dominated the opening 20 minutes and they could find no way past a resilient Harlequins defence in the opening exchanges of the second half.

But a red card to Harlequins’ Joe Marler with 20 minutes to go opened the door for Steve Diamond’s side and another MacGinty penalty brought Sale back to within three points.

Despite high pressure from the Sharks it was Harlequins who secured their bonus point try as Jamie Roberts pierced through the Sale defence to extend the visitors advantage.

Sale weren’t done yet and after sustained pressure, Van Rensburg was able to find space and dart his way through to help bring Sharks back into the tie.

And with just five minutes remaining, De Klerk’s penalty ultimately made the difference as Sale denied Harlequins a first away league victory since September.