Bok carded, as Falcons soar above Sharks
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Newcastle Falcons stole a sensational victory over northern rivals Sale Sharks, Toby Flood scoring with the last play in Friday’s Kingston Park clash.
In a game of two halves, Sale started poorly with ill-discipline costing the Sharks dearly in the first half.
The Sharks thought they had done enough when Cobus Wiese scored a try to put them 13-10 ahead with eight minutes left, only for the visitors’ discipline to let them down again in the dying embers of the game.
Sean Robinson had earlier helped Newcastle take a 10-0 lead at half-time, with a try from close range.
Before Flood’s match-winning moment, it was largely a forgettable game with both sides struggling to get into a rhythm or maintain discipline.
Long kicking exchanges punctuated both halves, but the Sharks only punished themselves by conceding penalty after penalty.
Discipline issues, topped with the loss of No.8 Dan du Preez to the sin-bin moments before Robinson scored the first try were the deciding factors in an uneventful first half.
MacGinty did kick Sharks back into contention scoring the first points of the second half, and followed with a further three points before Wiese had the power to go over after Sam James’ burst down the right wing.
It looked like the South Africans score would be decisive, but Newcastle kicked deep to the corner after winning a contentious scrum penalty from the restart.
Following a bout of pressure inside the Sale 22, the Sharks failed to hold out the hosts, who recorded their second straight victory since their promotion back into the Premiership.
For Newcastle Falsons
Tries: Robinson, Flood
For Sale Sharks
Pens: MacGinty 2
Yellow card: Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, 34)
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Toby Flood, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Gary Graham, 7 Connor Collett, 6 Sean Robinson, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Trevor Davison
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Josh Basham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Pete Lucock
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Simon Hammersley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Ben Curry (captain), 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 James Phillips, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Valerey Morozov
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Sam Dugdale, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Rob du Preez, 23 Marland Yarde
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson, Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher