Category: NCA Rugby

Cambridge Preview


Jonathan Keep announces the squad as they face another away trip down south, this time heading to Cambridge. 

Cambridge currently sit 9th on 58 points whilst Sale sit at 11th, 5 points adrift. A comfortable win would see Sale shift up the table, potentially replacing Cambridge at 9th depending on Point Difference.

2pm | Volac Park | Cambridge Continue reading “Cambridge Preview”

Plymouth Albion Match Preview


Director of Rugby Jonathan Keep submits his squad ahead of the vital clash this weekend against Plymouth Albion.

They sit comfortably in National League one, placed 8th, 10 points above Sale (11th). The turn of the year has been prosperous for Albion as they extended their 2020 100% win record, notably knocking Rosslyn Park off 2nd spot with a 41-22 win.

To catch up with how Albion have been getting on, click here

2pm | CorpAcq Stadium | Heywood Rd

Continue reading “Plymouth Albion Match Preview”

Blackheath Match Report

15 Minute Miracle as Blackheath fight back to overcome The Dogs

Four tries in the final quarter rescued Blackheath from a 10-point deficit and gave them an emphatic victory and a fitting end to skipper Markus Burcham’s 200th appearance in Club colours.

Words from Graham Cox, Blackheath Rugby

For most of the contest, however, it looked as if the almost-immaculate boot of Chris Johnson would hold sway, the Sale fly-half striking 19 of his side’s points, 14 of them in the opening period as he kicked four penalties and converted left-wing Jonty Rawcliffe’s tenth minute chip and chase try.

Blackheath nibbled away, thanks to Stef Liebenberg’s long pass out for Jake Lloyd to touch down out wide, followed by a 25thminute penalty try from a collapsed maul.  Johnson kept Sale’s noses in front until, just prior to the break, Leo Fielding came up into the line to send Lloyd barging his way across for the wing’s second try of the match, and twelfth of the season, to level the score at 19-apiece.

Only for a short while though, as a converted try from Sale number-eight Jarad Williams on 47 minutes, followed by another Johnson penalty, moved the Cheshire side back into a strong lead.

However, Mark Cooke’s 58th minute penalty for a no-arms tackle, which also saw a yellow card for Sale prop Juan Rivas, was followed by Johnson’s only blemish as a long-range effort fell fractionally short, and suddenly the game turned in favour of the hosts.

Freddie Owen, who time and again rose to collect lineout ball and made frequent gains in the loose, capped a fine game by reaching across the goal-line, Sale players clinging to him, for the try which, with Cooke’s conversion, brought parity once more.

And as the vociferous crowd turned up the volume, a 68th minute overlap saw Henry Staff glide across, giving Blackheath the lead for the first time.

As a rattled Sale chased the game for the first time, ball fell loose for Burcham to hoof forward, Tom Burns collecting neatly with one arm and rolling over the try-line for a sixth score.  And as resistance crumbled, the Club pack, dominant in the second period, demolished their counterparts to win a second penalty try to close out the game.

Sale FC vs Plymouth Albion

Sale FC Rugby
National One



Tries:   Lloyd 2, Penalty try 2, Owen, Staff, Burns

Conv:  Cooke 3

Pens:   Cooke

Sale FC

Tries:   Rawcliffe, Williams

Conv:  Johnson 5

Pens:   Johnson 2

Blackheath Match Preview

As the Sale FC squad is announced by DOR Jonathan Keep

We take a moment to look ahead to a game with a lot riding, as Blackheath push for a top 5 finish, with DMP close behind (on points diff) whilst The Dogs try to extend their narrow gap from Bishops Stortford at 12th

SATURDAY 25th JAN 2020
3pm | Well Hall | London

Rosslyn Park vs Sale FC

We look ahead at an important fixture as The Dogs fall short against Rosslyn Park, an unjustified scoreline, but a well-deserved win for the promotion-chasing-side.

To catch up with a Full Match Report, click here 

Or, for Highlights:


We hear from Matt Bradley, scrum half, as he reflects on Rosslyn Park before looking ahead to this important clash in London as well as Director of Rugby Jonathan Keep:

DOR Jonathan Keep
Sale FC 33 v 14 Canterbury (Credit Image: Gareth Lyons for Sale F.C. 2020)


“A disappointing result in the end, we created enough opportunities to get something from the game. There was a lot of positives in the performance, but, against a quality side if you make errors they take advantage, and that’s what they did. We can definitely take confidence from the performance going in to this week- certainly in terms of attitude and intensity. If we can cut out the errors we will be in with a shot.

But, going down to London is never easy, especially against a good side. But I think it is important for us to learn from last week and build on the positives we did show. Last season the performance wasn’t great at Blackheath, so we are hoping we can rectify that, if we can put an 80minute performance together we can be in with a shout of picking an important away win.

Back to back London trips isn’t ideal, but I think we can be excited by the challenge. We take every game as it comes, so we aren’t thinking too much about it, we just have to perform like we know we can”.

Matt, who finished off THAT scorching team try against Canterbury has been building each week, putting in some quality shifts recently. His partnership remains with Chris Johnson at 10 as they eagerly look ahead.

On paper, we look impressive. At least in terms of points, with The Blue and Whites scoring 472 points- a top 5/6 contention, with a decent point difference of 43. Whilst Blackheath, although 5th, have a point difference of 17- scoring less than Sale, yet have the ability to see out these away games with an impressive away form. Notably, on their last visit to Heywood Rd they conceded, only one of the 4 losses occurred.

Jonathan Keep said, 

“Its been a tough start to 2020 for the squad in having three away trips out of our four fixtures in January. Down in London again Old Elthamians, Rosslyn Park and now Blackheath. On each occasion so far we have performed well against quality opposition and played some good rugby. However, we have only come away with one point out of the fixture down at OE’s earlier this month, so we are looking to improve on this tomorrow.

As always, we are expecting it to be a tight fixture and we have equipped ourselves well during the week to give ourselves the best possible chance to come away with the win. The squad continue to work hard week on week to improve on their last performance. Everyone is looking forward to the fixture.”

The squad features minimal change with only a few rotations. Jonty Rawcliffe swaps wings as Jack Moorhouse pushes out to 14 from previously 13. As Johnny Leota, the birthday man, comes in at 13 after some weeks away as he is joined by Patrick Ah Van at 12- a lethal combo in the centre, looking to force some gaps. Emiliano Calle Rivas continues his start at fullback as Fergus Mulchrone and Tom Brady are still sidelined with injury, he impresses in back-to-back weeks offering some explosive speed in the backline.

The forwards remain unchanged as they continue to challenge opposition packs with their physicality. Jake Pope, Juan Pablo Rivas, Dan Matthews and Stone Priestley-Nangle all eager to provide some additional force off the bench.

Players to watch: Matt Bradley, Stone-Priestley Nangle and Andrew Hughes (FC)

Henry Staff from Blackheath picked up Man of The Match in their previous fixture, notably a man to watch




Rosslyn Park Match Review

Photos- Isabelle Lovell Sports Photography

Instagram: @isabellelovellsports 

Twitter: @isabellelovell1


Rosslyn Park vs Sale FC- Isabelle Lovell Sports Photography

The London side went over the line six times as they bounced back from losing to Sale in dominant style. And Richmond’s win over Rams means Park climb up to second as the title battle gets even closer.

Park leapt out the blocks as a swift move from the line-out saw Neville Edwards run clean through on the left wing after two minutes. And the home side had a second eight minutes later, Joe Munro spinning through the defence to bound under the posts.

Holland was on hand both times to add the extras, giving the crowds at the Rock great optimism of a heavy win. This was hampered on 18 minutes, though, as Ollie Longmore finished off his own maul to put Sale on the board.

Rosslyn Park vs Sale FC

But Park did not let it haunt them, continuing to put pressure on that saw Ali Wade run clear six minutes later.

Sale gave Kieran Power’s men something to think about on 27 minutes as Jonty Rawcliffe finished off a move on the left wing.

The visitors held onto possession until half time but could not break through again. And Park punished them 10 minutes after the restart, Henry Robinson breaking through before Benji Marfo burst through a gap in the defence.

HT Rosslyn Park 21-14 Sale FC
Rosslyn Park vs Sale FC

With a roar from the crowd, Jonathan Mills’ pack caused a Sale error from their scrum and Holland leapt onto the loose ball. Starting on his own five-metre line, the No.10 ate up the turf as he added Park’s fifth try.

Sale jarred the home side’s course to victory when captain Andrew Hughes drove through on the left wing 11 minutes later. But Edwards finished the game as he started it, with a score in the corner for the final action of the game to send Park second.

FT Rosslyn Park 40-21 Sale FC

Rosslyn Park
Tries: Edwards 2, 80, Munro 10, Wade 24, Marfo 50, Holland 60
Conversions: Holland 3, 11, 25, 51, 61
Sin Bins:
Team (15-9/1-8): Henry Robinson; Benji Marfo, Rhys Crane (Harry Leonard 61), Joe Munro ©, Neville Edwards; Craig Holland, Dave Lewis (Jack Gash 62); Kyle Traynor (Wade 70), Owen Hughes (Henry Spencer 52), Ali Wade (Paul Doran-Jones 45); Sam Twomey, Gregor Gillanders (Jonathan Mills 70); James Freeman, Arthur Ellis, Dan Laventure

Tries: Longmore 18, Rawcliffe 27, Hughes 71
Conversions: Johnson 19, 28, 72
Sin Bins:
Team (15-9/1-8): Emiliano Calle Rivas; Jonty Rawcliffe (Chris Owen 65), Jack Moorhouse, Patrick Ah Van, Anthony Bingham (Rawcliffe 72); Chris Johnson, Matthew Bradley; Dan Birchall (John Blanchard 51), Ollie Longmore (Juan Pablo Rivas 62), Matt Talaese (Dan Matthews 30; Talaese 62); William Davies, Nick Gray (Stone Priestley-Nangle 61); Jake Barron, Andrew Hughes ©, Jarad Williams

Attendance: 756
Referee: Nick Wood


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Due soon, check back tomorrow for all the Try’s!

PLUS! 1861 Trylights from Vagabonds and Leigh Ladies games. Stay tuned!