Sale overcome Exeter 23-17 in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday
Tries from Johnny Leota, Nev Edwards and Mike Haley has the Sharks 17-0 up at half-time
Tries from Jack Yeandle and Dave Lewis plus seven points from Gareth Steenson rescued the Chiefs a losing bonus point
Sale Sharks continued their unbeaten run at the AJ Bell Stadium in the Aviva Premiership as they comfortably overcame high-flying Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
As good as Sale’s record at home is, nobody would have predicted they’d lead 17-0 at half-time.
Despite being reduced to 14 men early on when Ross Harrison was yellow carded, the Sharks showed why they are feared on home turf as Johnny Leota, Nev Edwards and Mike Hayley crossed the whitewash to send the home side 17 points clear at the break. Fly-half Danny Cipriani converted one of the three tries in challenging conditions.
The Chiefs, rejuvenated after the break, looked much better with Jack Yeandle getting the visitors on the board with a try, converted by Gareth Steenson, but a Cipriani penalty soon after kept the visitors at arms length heading into the final quarter, 20-7.
Exeter though hadn’t given up and moments after Thomas Waldrom had a try ruled out by the TMO, they were back within losing bonus-point range when Dave Lewis crashed over.
Steenson slotted the conversion, but shortly after Cipriani added three more points from the tee for the Sharks.
The game though was rounded off by a sensational penalty from Steenson, taking three points from the tee from just inside his own half, before Cipriani missed a penalty with the final kick of the game, 23-17.
With six points the difference at the full-time whistle, the Chiefs had to settle for a losing bonus point after a frustrating afternoon at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Will Addison, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Nev Edwards, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Arscott
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Don Armand, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Jonny Hill, 3 Moray Low, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Max Bodilly
Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Geoff Warren