Sale FC 19 vs 26 RAMS
7th December 2019
Too Little Too Late for The Dogs as their winning run comes to an end.
This fixture was always expected to be fierce from the start, with both teams needing important points to keep their seasons in flow. Rams sat in 3rd heading into this battle and Sale at 9th, needing points to push for a top 6 finish. Rams remain, after producing a resilient display to earn themselves the winning bonus point away from home.
RAMS were pinned back within the first 5minutes of the fixture, with The Dogs coming out explosive, with a great kick nudged behind the defensive line by Matt Bradley to initiate the first attack of the game. The high intensity of the game got the better of some, with a few minor altercations between opposing packs revealing the emotional nature of the game. RAMS were awarded a penalty on the 22, clearing their lines. Notably, strategizing a driving maul to utilise effective clearances, shifting pressure away from their line. Sale produced some quality rugby despite the damp conditions with great expansive counter attacks continuously pressuring the RAMS defence, after misplaced clearances. But ill disciplines halted any promise, with the RAMS awarded penalty after penalty, gifted the chance to put boot to ball. Yet, Sale were relentless, once again mounting incredible pressure with Fergus Mulchrone breaking free before a turnover 5m out depletes any further strain.
The first half continuously featured a poor kicking display from RAMS, gifting the Sale backs many opportunities, to which they did not convert. With many spills also common, the game was contrasted with stoppages for scrums and penalties. Territory was fought for with a dominant kicking game from both, with the opposition experiencing the majority of play within their half. Yet, poor discipline endlessly awarded RAMS with opportunities of their own, halting FC attacks. Gifting possession in crucial moments. More promising rugby is explored after a terrific turnover at the lineout from captain Andy Hughes as the Dogs accelerate down the left side with Patrick Ah Van bursting away, slotting Fergus Mulchrone into a gap only for the pass to be deemed forward. An unfortunate sequence, yet promising heading into the business end of the first half. Once again, the intensity from the Dogs proved diligent as Cal Ford and Teddy Leatherbarrow link in midfield with physical encounters, offloading to push Bradley down the field, with the ball stabbed through yet is recovered well by the RAMS defence. A clearing box kick falls into the hands of Williams who makes yards before Johnson puts a crosskick in for Mulchrone or Brady down the right corner, but unfortunately runs dead resulting in a 22m drop-out.
A turnover on the 40m by RAMS reverts any previous pressures, by mounting an impressive string of fast flowing rugby with offloads putting The RAMS comfortably into the Sale half. Poor discipline again faults Sale as the referee awards a penalty to the RAMS who push for the corner, a well delivered driving maul places the opposition further on the front foot. Chops tackles featuring thick and fast as The Dogs heavily defend their line. Outside centre falls just short after a spontaneous driving maul once again pressurises the Sale defence. The resulting pick and go finishing with a try at 32mins. A highly contested half with Sale dominating possession yet unable to reciprocate a result. With a successful kick and 8mins to go for the first half, the Sale Dogs look disappointed so far.
Sale FC 00 vs 07 RAMS
A restart is pushed deep into the RAMS half, before they mount an attack through more poor discipline as The RAMS shape towards the Sale corner, expecting another driving maul, a common theme of Saturday’s game. Andy Hughes issued a yellow card in a contingency of ill-discipline from The Dogs. Initially driving the maul back before the RAMS pod splits, accelerating towards the whitewash, resulting in a try.
Momentum truly shifted within the last 10minutes as the RAMS convert with few chances. Ill-discipline the resulting factor so far.
HT Sale FC 00 vs 14 RAMS
Once again, a highly contested game with both sides flying out after half time. The Dogs are awarded a rare penalty in which they point to the corner in hopes of reciprocating some of their dominant possession and territory. A series of Lineouts and pick & go’s leaves the RAMS caving to pressure with the 3rd successive penalty awarded to the Dogs- the most all game. The resulting lineout initiates a powerful driving maul, forcing Teddy Leatherbarrow over with Chris Johnson adding the extras. A potential momentum shift as the Dogs now look to build from here.
Sale FC 07 vs 14 RAMS
A highly intense competition as The RAMS relentlessly pressurise Sale with possession now in their favour. A constant exchange of attacks provides both teams with an even contest in what was expected for a fierce ending. But, unfortunately for Sale, the poor discipline resonating throughout the game leaves a attack without consequence.
An unfortunate mistake from Sale off the high ball leaves the ball free and stabbed through by RAMS fly half. Heavily pressing towards the whitewash. But, an electric Teddy Leatherbarrow reacts quickest. The Dogs dealing with the pressure on their line before the Rams 12 slips through, offloading to available Kieran Leicester to dot down 5m out and 10minutes left of the game.
Sale FC 07 vs 21 RAMS
Again, Rams split the Sale defence with openside Winger Jak Rossiter stepping hard off his line to slice through a disjointed Dogs defence, diving over to bring RAMS clear gaining the Try Bonus Point. The game proving lethal with the physio’s frequently coming into action.
Surprisingly, The Dogs seemed unphased as they immediately return the pressure, with Jack Moorhouse this time cutting through the RAMS defensive line before dramatically stopped 5m out with Sam Dugdale picking and driving over the line- 75mins. Johnson converts.
Sale FC 14 vs RAMS 26
More expansive play puts The Dogs behind the RAMS line, gifted a penalty in which they push towards the corner. A familiar sight with a driving maul in contention, which finds success through Andy Hughes who crashes over for the final plays of the game.
FT Sale FC 19 vs 26 RAMS Too Little too late as the Dogs winning run ends abruptly. We look to next week where Sale need to pick up points to continue their Top 6 push.
15. Rawcliffe 14. Brady 13. Mulchrone 12. Williams 11. Ah Van 10. Johnson 9. Bradley 8. Dugdale 7. Leatherbarrow 6. Hughes 5. Barron 4. Priestley-Nangle 3. Talaese 2. Ashman 1. Birchall
Replacements: 16. Ford 17. Longmore 18. Pope 19. Davies 20. Moorhouse
15. Leicester 14. Rossiter 13. Bryant 12. Hayhow 11. Corrigan 10. Humberstone 9. Moates 8. Stapley 7. Vooght 6. Guttridge 5. Stapley 4. Taylor 3. Zeiss 2. Henderson 1. Kidd
Replacement: 16. Moffitt 17. McDonnell-Robert 18. Thompson 19. Denham 20. Cole
Match highlights soon to come. Catch up here with Pre & Post Match Interviews
Looking Ahead…Our Next Fixtures