Saracens and Sale share the spoils after an epic 36-36 draw on Saturday
The Sharks were leading 17-0 after 16 minutes thanks to tries from Sam James, Johnny Leota and Tom Arscott
Scores from Jim Hamilton and Chris Wyles (2) though gave Sarries a 22-17 lead at the break
Sarries led 36-31 in the closing stages thanks to tries from Nick Tompkins and Mike Ellery
Arscott dotted down late on to secure Sale a share of the spoils.
A last gasp Tom Arscott try saw Sale draw 36-36 with Saracens in a thrilling encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks, who had won just one of their last seven meetings with Sarries, made an incredible start with Sam James, Johnny Leota and Tom Arscott all crashing over within the first 16 minutes to give the hosts an unexpected 17-0 lead.
Saracens though then found some attacking impetus through a driving maul and got the ball down on the try-line through Jim Hamilton soon after before Chris Wyles’ score just after the half hour combined with five points from Charlie Hodgson brought the visitors back within two points.
USA international Wyles then dived over in the corner for his second try late in the half with Ben Spencer adding the extras to give the league leaders a 22-17 advantage at the break.
Danny Cipriani slotted a pair of penalty’s after the restart to recapture Sale a narrow lead, 23-22.
The fly-half then added another three points from the tee as the Sharks continued to take advantage of Sarries lack of discipline in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Saracens though took advantage of Will Addison’s error to get recapture the lead and secure a try-scoring bonus-point, with Wyles picking up the loose ball before spinning it out to Nick Tompkins, who crossed the whitewash unchallenged. Spencer then added the extras confidently, 26-29.
Another error from the hosts six minutes later put Sarries clear as Leota gave the ball straight to wing Mike Ellery, who raced away for the away sides’ fifth try. Spencer then converted, and it looked like game over as the visitors now led by 10 points.
However, the Sharks were not done as TJ Ioane crashed over for the hosts soon after. Cipriani missed the conversion, though, 31-36.
After tremendous pressure on the Saracens try-line, Arscott then went over in the corner to draw the hosts level, securing them a share of the spoils as Cipriani’s touchline conversion to win it went was wide of the mark.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: Chris Wyles
Sale Sharks : 15 Mike Haley, 14 Will Addison, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Tom Arscott, 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 TJ Ioane, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings
Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson (c), 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, , 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jared Saunders, 1 Titi Lamositele.
Replacements: 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Nathan Earle.
Date: Saturday 27 February
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium,
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Matthew O’Grady & Simon McConnell.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.