Sale Play a game of stick in the mud
The away trip to Harrogate looked less like a potential banana skin and more like a mud bath. The pitch was badly cut up in places and at times players seemed to be moving in slow motion. However, Harrogate came out ready to play and within five minutes, Harrogate ghosted through some tackles and were up 5-0 which was duly converted. Ten minutes later after sustained pressure they earned a penalty which put them 10-0 up and it looked like Sale might be in for a very long afternoon.
Fortunately after 25 minutes in and pretty much the first time Sale managed to string some passages of play together without making a mistake, Jack crossed the line for 10-5 and converted by Liam to 10-7. In all reality, if Harrogate had stuck a few more passes we would have gone into the break 3 or 4 tries down rather than only 3 points in it.
After the break Sale came out with more power and precision. Even though the conditions still didn’t encourage running rugby, Sale were applying pressure and pressing quickly, this lead to two quick tries from handling errors committed by Harrogate within their 22. Firstly the ever prolific Jack Moorhouse pounced on a mistake 49 minutes in and secondly Chris Johnson went over for a try less than 4 minutes later touching down following a passage of play that no Harrogate player will want to think about again. The final five minutes saw Harrogate pressing Sale inside the 22 and applying pressure to the scrum which seemed their best chance of scoring the try to give them losing bonus point, but Sale were resolute yet again in defence and held them out to record a very satisfying win in pretty difficult conditions.
Interview with Liam McGovern (c)
Interview with Paolo and Ben
Photos from Sale V Harrogate
|18th February 2017
|National 2 North
|Pannal Rd, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1DL, UK