Sale Sharks snatch late win over Van Graan's Bath
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Arron Reed’s last-minute try helped Sale Sharks earn a dramatic 30-27 win over a resilient Bath Rugby side who saw three men receive yellow cards at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Visiting captain Ben Spencer’s 17 points had put Bath on the cusp as they fought back from 3-22 down to lead 27-25 before Reed dived over in the corner.
First-half tries from Joe Carpenter, Sam Dugdale, Tom Roebuck and Tommy Taylor had put the hosts in control though Niall Annett’s try on the stroke of half-time offered the visitors some hope.
Jonathan Joseph’s try continued the fightback, and despite yellow cards to both Max Ojomoh and Cameron Redpath, Ben Spencer’s conversion of his own try saw the visitors lead only for Reed’s late score to snatch the full five points.
Sale Sharks, Director of Rugby, Alex Sanderson said: “On another day we make a few more kicks and it’s out of sight, but it’s the fight – as I said to the lads – that I’m most proud of.
“When we look back on the season, if we are lucky enough to earn ourselves a home semi-final, it’s on nights like tonight that you do that, you earn it. It’s quite significant I feel.
“It’s a decent sign of where we are going – hopefully if we keep them together this group can do special things, not just this year but for years.”
Bath Rugby Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “That’s a difficult one to take, specifically the way we fought back, got ourselves ahead and then defended so well with 13 men.
“That’s the difficult thing about sport, you’re one play away from beating them away from home but that wasn’t to be so gutted but proud.
“Across the 80, we have to be better. We conceded a yellow card within a minute and they scored a try because you don’t have your blind wing to cover that – minus those five points and you win the game.”
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Carpenter, Dugdale, Roebuck, Taylor, Reed
Con: Du Preez
Pen: Du Preez
Tries: Annett, Joseph, Spencer
Cons: Spencer 3
Pens: Spencer 2
Sale Sharks: 15 Joe Carpenter, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Jono Ross (captain), 5 Josh Beaumont, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Alex Groves, 20 Rouban Birch, 21 Raffi Quirke, 22 Luke James, 23 Arron Reed
Bath: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Butt, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Miles Reid, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Josh McNally, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Valeriy Morozov
Replacements: 16 Tom Doughty, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Fergus Lee-Warner, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Sam Underhill
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce, Peter Allan
TMO: Tom Foley