London Irish was unable to accrue points at the AJ Bell Stadium in Round 6 of the Gallagher Premiership, Sale Sharks taking a 37-14 victory.
Dan du Preez and Joe Carpenter touched down for Alex Sanderson’s men in the first half, Ollie Hassell-Collins seizing a late moment of opportunity to take Irish into the break with points on the board.
Tom Roebuck took the first of his two efforts in the second stanza not long after resumption, but an ever-determined Benhard van Rensburg dotted down for a deserved effort on 50 minutes.
Roebuck doubled his tally on the evening before Ewan Ashman wrapped up the result after re-joining the action following Akker van der Merwe’s injury.
Sale put much of the early pressure on Irish with ball in hand in the opening five minutes, but a rip at the breakdown from the ever-industrious Benhard van Rensburg took the defensive focus off the Exiles for the time being.
Sharks did continue with their attacking intent, but carelessness at the set-piece and breakdown, with offences at a rolling maul and then a scrum, unable to progress the home side to the whitewash.
Another attempted rolling maul saw Alex Sanderson’s side over the try line on this occasion, as number eight Dan du Preez dotted down 12 minutes in with Rob du Preez slotting the extras from the boot.
Van Rensburg’s forcing of a Sale spill in contact won Irish a scrum, and the travelling pack then earned a penalty at the set-piece to gain Irish’s first adventure into the opposing 22 with a Paddy Jackson touch finder.
Possession was spread out left, smart handed offloads from Ben Loader and Will Joseph a particular highlight, but following a lineout Irish were well met once again by their hosts and were penalised for entering the breakdown off their feet.
After being held up over the line on a blindside offensive, Sharks only had to wait minutes later to add to their tally after an Irish scrum penalty through a du Preez place kick.
The Mancunian outfit increased their advantage through Joe Carpenter before the half’s conclusion, the full-back sliding in from the left channel to score.
However, an unclaimed restart from Sharks, not for the first time in the first period, would offer Irish an avenue back into the Round 6 affair.
Ollie Hassell-Collins retrieved the ball in behind the backline following a botched catch from the opponents and manage a clever finish in the goal area under defensive constraint, Jackson’s conversion cutting the deficit to 8 as the teams headed into the sheds.
Sale Sharks wasted little time in trying to restore parity and did so via Tom Roebuck, tracking a speculative box kick from Raffi Quirke and fielding the ball after a favourable bounce near the try line to score.
So’otala Fa’aso’o’s work in midfield over the ball following broke play gained Irish the ball, and with a terrific kick to touch from Jackson, Irish gained a foothold territorially as the league’s most effective lineout pre-Round 6 got to work.
Whilst the maul off the set-piece broke down, van Rensburg was on hand to dive over the try line after picking up the ball from the remnants of the surge, Jackson adding yet another impressive touchline conversion.
Sharks grabbed their try bonus point off the back of good handling and quick thinking the penetrate through Irish’s defence, Tom Roebuck taking a brace from the game and du Preez adding two more.
League top scorer du Preez notched three more on the night from a centralised effort after a high tackle from the Exiles, who soon made way for Tom Curtis.
Irish’s dogged determination when going forward in moments late on subsided with a conclusive fifth effort from Sharks, Ewan Ashman scoring off the back of a rolling maul and Curtis missing with his first effort off the tee as Sharks wrapped up the 37-14 result.
Score sequence (London Irish second): 5-0, 7-0, 10-0, 15-0, 15-5, 15-7, 20-7, 22-7, 22-12, 22-14, 27-14, 29-14, 32-14, 37-14.
Sale Sharks: Tries: D du Preez (12), Carpenter (38) Roebuck (42) (55), Ashman (78); Conversions: R du Preez (14) (43) (56); Penalties R du Preez (26).
London Irish: Tries: Hassell-Collins (40) van Rensburg (50); Conversions: Jackson (41) (51).
15 Joe Carpenter, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Tom O’Flaherty (Reed 56), 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Raffi Quirke (Warr 60); 1 Bevan Rodd (McIntyre 52), 2 Ewan Ashman (van der Merwe 52, Ashman 75), 3 Nick Schonert (Ooosthuizen 60), 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 Jonny Hill (Beaumont 63), 6 Tom Curry (Ross 73), 7 Ben Curry (Ross 61 HIA), 8 Dan du Preez.
16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Arron Reed.
15 James Stokes (Trotter 58), 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph (Cinti 67), 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson (c), 9 Ben White (Englefield 72); 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke (Fischetti 58), 2 Agustin Creevy (Miller 64), 3 Lovejoy Chawatama (Parker 64), 4 Api Ratuniyarawa (Caulfield 65), 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 8 So’otala Fa’aso’o (Cunningham-South 56).
16 Isaac Miller, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Caolan Englefield, 22 Lucio Cinti, 23 Logan Trotter.
Referee: Mr Karl Dickson
Tom Wood to captain Barbarians for showdown with Saints
Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTSSaturday 26 November 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 Jonah Holmes14 Zach Kibirige13 Luther Burrell12 Owen Williams11 Marland Yarde10 Danny Cipriani9 Gareth Simpson1 Murray McCallum2 Hika Elliot3 Brok Harris4 Graham Kitchener5 Elliott Stooke6 Ben Morris7 Olly Robinson8 Tom Wood (c)Replacements:16 Tevita Ikanivere17 Ben Harris18 Elliot Millar-Mills19 Lloyd Ashley20 Will Boyde21 Francois Hougaard22 Mali Hingano23 Perry Humphreys
Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.
The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.
Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.
Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.
Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.
Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.
And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.
A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.
BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Saturday 26 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
15 Jonah Holmes
14 Zach Kibirige
13 Luther Burrell
12 Owen Williams
11 Marland Yarde
10 Danny Cipriani
9 Gareth Simpson
1 Murray McCallum
2 Hika Elliot
3 Brok Harris
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Ben Morris
7 Olly Robinson
8 Tom Wood (c)
16 Tevita Ikanivere
17 Ben Harris
18 Elliot Millar-Mills
19 Lloyd Ashley
20 Will Boyde
21 Francois Hougaard
22 Mali Hingano
23 Perry Humphreys
TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears
Sam James makes his 200th Sharks appearance, Cobus Wiese and Akker van der Merwe return from injury and Rouban Birch and Kieran Wilkinson are rewarded for their cup heroics with places on the replacements bench for the Saturday lunchtime Premiership clash with Bristol Bears (KO 1pm – live on BT Sport).
Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez also return to the Sharks line-up after featuring for South Africa A, while Jono Ross captains the side for the round 11 showdown with Pat Lam’s men.
Springbok hooker Van der Merwe returns to the number two shirt after six weeks out with an ankle injury picked up against London Irish in October, and he takes his place in the front row between the experienced pair of Ross Harrison and Nick Schonert.
Wiese also returns from ankle lay-off to partner Josh Beaumont in the second row, while the Du Preez twins line-up alongside skipper Ross in the back row.
Gus Warr lines up again at scrum-half alongside fly-half Rob du Preez, and in the centres, Sam Hill starts with the ever-present Sam James, who plays his 200th game for his boyhood club.
Tom Roebuck and Byron McGuigan start on the wings, with full-back Joe Carpenter making up a pacy back three.
Academy products Tommy Taylor and fit-again Simon McIntyre provide front-row cover on the bench, along with Joe Jones, who will be playing his 50th Sharks game if he takes the field.
Sam Dugdale and Friday night’s Premiership Rugby Cup player of the match Birch cover the rest of the forwards.
Joe Simpson, Wilkinson and Arron Reed are the backs replacements.
Sale Sharks Starting XV:
15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. JL du Preez, 7. Jono Ross ©, 8. Daniel du Preez
16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Rouban Birch, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Kieran Wilkinson, 23. Arron Reed.
Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby
Falcons forward heads to France
Thursday 24 November 2022
Lock-forward George Merrick has left Newcastle Falcons to join a French club with immediate effect.
The 30-year-old has made 13 appearances since joining from Worcester Warriors in the summer of 2021, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of the club.
Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “George has been offered an exciting playing opportunity over in France and we wish him all the best for his move.
“He has been a positive presence around our squad during his time here, and on behalf of the entire coaching team I’d like to thank him for his contribution.”
Merrick said: “I’ve loved my time in Newcastle with a great bunch of boys, and I’m looking forward now to this new challenge.”
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