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Du Preez brothers make Bok statements as Sharks beat Sarries

SUNDAY WRAP: The Du Preez brothers, Robert and Jean-Luc, played prominent roles as Sale Sharks produced a remarkable comeback.

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The Sharks cut the gap at the top of the Premiership table to six points by beating Saracens 35-24 in a thrilling game at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.

Two tries for fullback Joe Carpenter completed the comeback.

Trailing 0-16, Sale looked unlikely winners but a yellow card for Alex Goode and a red for Robin Hislop ultimately proved decisive.

Sam James, Jono Ross and Jean Luc du-Preez were also on the try-scoring sheet – with Rob du Preez converting all five.

Alex Lewington, Theo Dan and Kapeli Pifeleti scored Saracens’ tries, while Goode kicked two penalties and Manu Vunipola one.

Saracens were quicker out of the traps and were rewarded with an early lead when Goode kicked a straightforward penalty.

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The visitors continued to look the sharper side in the opening exchanges with both wingers, Sean Maitland and Lewington, troubling the defence with their elusive running.

However, the try-line was hardly threatened and it came as no surprise that the next score was another penalty from Goode.

After 20 minutes, Saracens scored an excellent try. The ever-alert Goode was the instigator with a couple of long passes which culminated in Maitland racing away to provide Lewington with an easy run-in.

In that opening quarter, despite playing in front of the largest crowd this season, a strangely subdued Sale had not fired a worthwhile shot and their woes continued when Dan finished off an unstoppable line-out drive for Saracens’ second try.

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Sale needed a boost and they got one when Goode was yellow-carded for impeding Tom O’Flaherty with the hosts immediately capitalising.

They secured possession from a close-range line-out and moved the ball wide to create a try for Carpenter but Saracens soon responded with a penalty from Vunipola.

Goode was still absent when Sale scored their second try. O’Flaherty raced through the defence to send out the scoring pass to James and although it looked suspiciously forward the try was given. A second conversion from Rob du Preez left the home side trailing 14-19 at the interval.

Two minutes after the restart, Goode returned in time to see Sale nearly score again when a superb run from O’Flaherty was just thwarted by a last-gasp tackle from Alex Lozowski.

Sale was now a totally different animal from their lacklustre opening and after 54 minutes, Carpenter tore through the visitors’ defence for his second try with the conversion giving them the lead for the first time.

It was now one-way traffic with the hosts scoring their bonus-point try when Ross crashed over.

Sale looked in control but their opponents restored some of their momentum with a third try when replacement Pifeleti finished off a driving line-out.

The game lay in the balance but even though prop Hislop was sent off for a head-high challenge on the impressive Carpenter with 11 minutes remaining, Saracens still finished stronger and it took some heroic defence from Sale to keep them out.

In the final minute, Sale broke out for Jean–Luc du Preez to score their fifth and deprive Saracens of a deserved bonus point.

* In the other Sunday match London Irish made it back-to-back away league wins for the first time in three years as they beat Newcastle Falcons 34-19 in an entertaining Gallagher Premiership clash at Kingston Park.

Sunday’s scorers and scorers below standings

Premiership standings after 19 rounds

Newcastle Falcons 19-34 London Irish

The scorers

For Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Dalton, Blamire, Fearns
Cons: Connon 2

For London Irish
Tries: Basham, Pearson, Fischetti, Cornish, Hassell-Collins
Cons: Jackson 3
Pen: Jackson

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Callum Chick, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Matthew Dalton, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Adam Brocklebank.
Replacements: 16 Ollie Fletcher, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Freddie Lockwood, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Pete Lucock.

London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South, 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Josh Basham, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Lovejoy Chawatama, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 James Stokes.

Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Neil Chivers, John Meredith
TMO: Andrew Jackson

Sale Sharks 35-24 Saracens

The scorers

Sale Sharks
Tries: Carpenter 2, S James, Ross, J-L du Preez
Cons: R du Preez 5

Saracens
Tries: Lewington, Dan, Pifeleti
Pens: Goode 2, Vunipola

Red card: Robin Hislop (Saracens, 68)
Yellow card: Alex Goode (Saracens, 30)

The teams:

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 Jonny Hill, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Bevan Rodd.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Alex Groves, 20 Josh Beaumont, 21 Raffi Quirke, 22 Luke James, 23 Arron Reed.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode (captain), 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Andy Christie, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 3 Alec Clarey, 2 Theo Dan, 1 Eroni Mawi.
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Cameron Boon, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Ivan Van Zyl, 22 Olly Hartley, 23 Rotimi Segun.

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Adam Leal, Wayne Falla
TMO: Claire Hodnett

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