Dogs mauled by Lions
Sale headed to Westleigh Park to take on newly promoted Leicester Lions in the 2023/24 season opener.
The dogs started brightly but lost the influential James Robins to an ankle injury in the 12th minute. This seemed to throw them off their stride and the hosts took the lead a few minutes later after a swift attack from halfway. Leicester Lions 7 Sale 0
The home side extended their lead in the 27th minute when fly half, Dan Lewis, kicked a penalty from 30m. Leicester Lions 10 Sale 0
Sale hauled themselves back into the game in the 32nd minute when Tom Brady crossed the whitewash after a fine break from Nev Edwards. HT Leicester Lions 10 Sale 5
Yellow cards for Dan Leake and skipper, Andy Hughes, saw the dogs reduced to 13 men early in the second half but the hosts only had two penalties from Dan Lewis to show for their numerical advantage. Leicester Lions 16 Sale 5
Sale fought back again when a 5m lineout was secured and debutant hooker, Nathan Claydon, dived over from the back of the rolling maul; Matt Bradley added the extras. Leicester Lions 16 Sale 12
Dan Birchall became the third Sale player to see yellow but, miraculously, the dogs took the lead in the 75th minute when Mark Dixon seared through a gap to score under the posts; Matt Bradley converted again. Leicester Lions 16 Sale 19
However, after another yellow card, this time for Joe Kelly, the hosts secured a deserved win with a strong rolling maul to the line. FT Leicester Lions 23 Sale 19
Not the start to the campaign the dogs were looking for but chance to bounce back at home to DMP next week.