Sale and Newcastle shared the spoils as they drew 15-15 in the Aviva Premiership at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday
The Sharks had led 12-8 at half-time thanks to four penalties from number 10 Danny Cipriani
Newcastle’s converted try from Captain Will Welch brought them back to draw
It was far from pretty and at times maddeningly frustrating with neither side in the end having the individual class to take maximum points from the clash with the pair sharing the spoils at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday. Danny Cipriani’s last-gasp kick drifted wide as the hosts almost snatched victory but in truth a draw was probably a fair result.
The number 10, who was left out of England’s Rugby World Cup squad, almost kicked the hosts to a narrow victory if not for a late converted try from Falcons Captain Will Welch.
Newcastle, who had not recorded a single point in their opening four Aviva premiership games so far, were much improved and were well worth the draw on the day.
Sale’s Danny Cipriani and Newcastle’s Mike Delany exchanged penalties in the opening exchanges as both sides attempted to get a foothold in the windy and rainy conditions at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Cipriani landed another penalty after 25 minutes to give Sale a narrow lead but off the resulting kick off saw the hosts have their line breached for the first time as Rob Vickers forced the ball down for the Falcons. Tom Catterick though was not able to add the extras, 6-8.
Sloppiness from the Falcons though allowed Cipriani to kick a further two penalties to recapture Sale a 12-8 lead at half-time.
Cipriani struck his fifth penalty of the afternoon 13 minutes after the restart to put Sale seven points clear.
The Falcon’s, who kept plundering and plundering, had their patience rewarded when Will Welch touched down the visitors second try after 70 minutes. Catterick added the conversion to bring Newcastle level to set up a grandstand conclusion to the game.
Catterick and Cipriani both had the chances to snatch the victory for their respective sides but both saw their attempted penalty’s sail wide of the mark with the game ending, probably fairly, level, 15-15.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Newcastle Falcons: Michael Young
Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Chris Harris.
Date: Saturday 28 November
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Trevor Fisher