Sale FC Rugby’s four game unbeaten run comes to an end in an enthralling encounter at the CorpAcq Stadium.
Sale FC Rugby, unbeaten in their last four home games, succumbed to two late penalty tries having played three quarters of the match with 14 men, and the closing minutes with 13, the result of red cards received, one in each half.
Blackheath were quickly into their stride, winning a penalty in the first minute, kicked by centre Leo Fielding. Sale responded to the challenge, taking the game to the visitors and winning consecutive penalties, taking them within range of the posts, Calle Rivas taking his opportunity to equalise.
Back came Sale again another penalty taking them close to the Blackheath line. A clean take at the lineout by Postlethwaite providing a platform for a driving maul from which Priestley – Nangle burst over the line to score a well-deserved try. Within minutes, Blackheath levelled when winger Lloyd found himself in space on the left wing, scoring a try in the corner.
A pivotal moment in the game came in the 21st minute when the referee saw Sale prop Joe Kelly throw a punch in what appeared to be a retaliatory act, but never the less deemed worthy of a Red Card reducing Sale to 14 men. Despite the numerical disadvantage Sale stuck to their task and indeed had the better of the play taking the lead from a Calle Rivas penalty kick on the half hour mark, the score remaining on Sale FC 11 Blackheath 8 at half time.
The Second half began with Sale’s 14 men yet again taking the game to the visitors forcing a misdirected clearance kick and winning lineout possession. With centre Johnny Leota in the thick of things, a solid ruck provided the base to feed full back Povey who in turn linked up with winger Paolo Odogwu whose powerful run took him over in the corner for a try which was skilfully converted by Calle Rivas to take Sale FC into a 10 point lead.
Sale continued to retain their lead with a combination of solid defence and effective counter attacking when on 60 minutes Blackheath flanker Harry Bate won the ball just inside the Sale half, breaking free of the Sale defence to run the 45 metres to the try line to score under the posts. Having added the extra points, the score now tied on 18 points each.
As the match drew to a close and with the home team tiring as a result of their outstanding effort against superior numbers a procession of reset scrums concluded with a penalty try in the visitors favour taking them into a 7 point lead. Immediately following the restart, another punch was spotted by the referee who didn’t hesitate showing a red card to Sale hooker Neil Briggs.
The match concluded with another penalty try for Blackheath as the Sale pack struggled against a two man advantage.
Final Score: Sale FC Rugby 18 … Blackheath 32
To view the match highlights of the game please use the following link here