The match at Luctonians was a potential banana skin for Sale at this stage of the season. If we are to move toward the playoff spot, then we need to get some five point games beneath our belts. For long periods of this game, it was a distinct possibility that we’d be quite lucky to get one. This was an error strewn game with too many penalties given away especially at the breakdown. At one point I thought the referee was going to end up with a RSI from rolling his arm continually in the same direction.
We went down to a soft try in the first 20 minutes and then compounded with another one not long after, at the half hour mark we finally got on the board with a well taken penalty from Liam McGovern, who was playing in his 100th game for Sale FC. We managed to get on the board again before half time with an excellent try taken by Sam.
The second half started to look like Sale might do their usual and run away with the game, but a spirited Luctonians side buoyed by some very vocal support from the locals meant that their heads never dropped. It wasn’t until the hour mark that an Andrew Hughes try after huge pressure from Sale put us into the lead.
Luctonians came back with a penalty to bring the score to 18-20 and an upset seemed to be a possibility. A massive defensive effort on the line from Sale for an extended 10 minute period seemed to steady the ship and in the final play of the game Sam went over in the corner for a try bringing us the four try bonus point.
This game epitomises why Sale are second in the table, we didn’t play well, but still managed a 5 point haul. This stage last season we’d have lost this game and it is a huge testimony to the coaches and players that there is a different attitude in the team and the club as a whole and the results reflect this.
All in all a tense and difficult game against a spirited side who deserved their losing bonus point.
|A4110, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9RX, UK|