At long last the dogs were back in action at HQ and a sizeable, vocal crowd were there to cheer them on as they took on the blood and sand of Cambridge.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence for several club members who had very sadly passed away during the previous 18 months, the opening exchanges of the game were cagey with both sides testing each other out.
Sporting their brand new Supro home kit for the first time, an early charge down from Fergus Mulchrone was one of few highlights and as the half wore on the away side began to dominate territory, albeit the blue and white massed ranks weathered the attacking thrusts well.
Scoring opportunities remained at a premium throughout the half although there was almost an opportunity for the boys in the 39th minute as scrum half, Matt Bradley, made a break from midfield, kicking forward for winger, Tom Walsh, to chase only for him to just lose out in the foot race.
HT Sale 0 Cambridge 0
Whatever was said in the dressing room during the break seemed to galvanise the dogs and it wasn’t long before they took the lead with Fergus Mulchrone making a superb half break to a couple of yards short of the try line before Nick Gray finished the job.
Sale 5 Cambridge 0
The boys attacking impetus continued apace and Chris Johnson increased the lead with a 30m penalty after the referee’s arm went in the home sides favour at scrum time.
Sale 8 Cambridge 0
The visitors were struggling to contain the pumped-up dogs now and a second try promptly arrived on the 50-minute mark as more wonderful play from Fergus Mulchrone saw him offload for speedster, Tom Walsh, to sprint in from the halfway line. Chris Johnson adding the extras.
Sale 15 Cambridge 0
Sale had opportunities to score more points, but their momentum was halted with 15 minutes remaining as Fergus Mulchrone was adjudged to have knocked on deliberately and was shown a yellow card.
This allowed Cambridge to build up a head of steam for the first time in the second 40 and the pressure eventually told with replacement, Kieran Duffin, crashing over the line. Joe Tarrant adding the conversion.
Sale 15 Cambridge 7
The remaining 10 minutes saw the away side with plenty of possession, but the dogs defended magnificently to earn a deserved first victory of the season.
FT Sale 15 Cambridge 7
Highlights video up soon!
Welcome back to rugby! We’re delighted to have you come down for our first game back at Heywood Road in what seems like forever!
|Heywood Road, Brooklands, Sale, Trafford, Greater Manchester, North West England, England, M33 3WB, United Kingdom|