Sale FC rugby featured four players recently selected for the England under 20 squad; centres Connor Docherty and Cameron Redpath (on debut) hooker Nic Dolly and fly half Kieron Wilkinson.
While all four made significant contributions to a comprehensive victory over Cinderford RFC, it was Wilkinson whose man of the match performance proved pivotal.
With just 2 minutes played , Sale winger Odogwu capitalised on a break by Redpath to run clear , feeding Wilkinson to cross the line by the posts , the converting his try.
From the restart Cinderford won a penalty , Andy Hughes adjudged to have been guilty of a high tackle .The visitors found touch on the 22m line , winning the lineout but unable to penetrate a solid Sale defence. The attack ran out of steam following a Cinderford knock on.
On 10 minutes Jack Moorhouse broke clear on the wing taking Sale into the opposition 22, finally winning a penalty which was kicked by Wilkinson taking the score to 10 -0
Again Cinderford looked to their pack to get a foothold in the game with sustained attritional play, both Sale centres in the thick of the defensive action as the visitors were kept at bay until finally Cinderford were rewarded for some rugged approach work when captain George Porter was driven over the line, fly half Pointon adding the extra points narrowing the score line to 10 – 7.
Within minutes , Sales’ extra pace in the backs proved too much for the Cinderford defence , a superb pass by Nic Dolly found Odogwu who punctured the back line before slipping Docherty in to score in the corner.
Wilkinson narrowly missed the conversion attempt.
Sale continued to apply pressure with Paulo Odogwu putting Cinderford on the back foot ,the ball finally being hurriedly kicked into touch for a Sale lineout on the Cinderford 22.More pressure from Sale ended when a Sale knock on gave Cinderford a scrum in their close to the 22 metre line.
The passage of play concluded when Cinderford No 8 attempted to run the ball clear from the base of the scrum but was well policed by the Sale back row, forcing a hurried clearance which was charged down by Sale second row Matt Postlethwaite.
A second attempt to clear the ball up field only succeeded in finding a well-positioned Rawcliffe who ran back at the Cinderford line beating several defenders before crossing for another Sale try which was converted by Wilkinson to take the score to 22 -7 in Sale’s favour at half time.
With a minute of the restart, Sale won a penalty which Wilkinson slotted home from distance.
The visitors regrouped and began to apply some pressure on the Sale defence with back row forward Jack Shields heavily involved taking the game to the home side.
Another penalty award to Sale, this time for a high tackle, was successfully despatched by Kieron Wilkinson, maintaining the pressure on the visitors taking the score to 28 -7
Eventually Cinderford gained some reward for their forward effort when, having won a penalty as a result of a scrum collapse, the visitors found touch inside the Sale 22 and, following the lineout and a well-executed rolling maul, Nathan Taylor scored a try which was unconverted.
Another penalty for Sale on 60 minutes following a good break by Redpath was despatched by Wilkinson from 40 metres taking his tally of points to 21 and the score to Sale 31 – Cinderford 12 with three quarters of the match played.
Sale continued to withstand all attempts by Cinderford to take something from the game as the visitors pack exerted some pressure on Sale without managing to penetrate the defence, which was typified by a dynamic tackle from Neil Briggs on fly half Dabell left the Cinderford man in need of some respite (and possibly a new rib cage!)
Finally, have kept the opposition at bay for 15 minutes Sale succumbed to a try by winger Sam Smith who touched down near the corner flag following a break by centre Babarsina. Pointon was unable to add the extra points from a difficult angle.
Sale closed out play and the match finished with Sale winning by a margin of 31 points to 17 , Kieran Wilkinson deservedly Man of the Match.
This weekend we have our first ever visit from Cinderford, a club promoted last season like ourselves from Level 4 rugby. They’ve had a slightly better start to their term in National One where they sit just three points ahead of us in the table. Due to the competitiveness of National One, those three points also mean they sit in Eighth while we languish way down in twelfth! Our first meeting away at theirs was also a similar close but distant story. We managed to get a bonus point, scoring five tries and 30 points, but Cinderford scored six tries and due to our indiscipline kept us from a losing bonus point by scoring 41. It was also the end of a remarkable 24 games undefeated for the boys from the CorpAcq stadium.
We have a new cap this weekend as well in the guise of Cameron Redpath.
Admission to the game
- Members Free
- £10 Adult
- £8 Sale Sharks Season Ticket Holders
- £8 Concessions (over 65) and Students (with Student ID)
- Free Under 16’s
|Sale FC Rugby|
|Sale Rugby Club, Heywood Rd, Sale M33 3WB, UK|