Sale Sharks 54 Falcons 12

Saturday 06 May 2023 Written by: Adam

There was to be no home-and-away double over their northern rivals as Sale showed the power and quality that has taken them to second in the regular-season standings.

The visitors trailed 21-7 at the break but got off to the perfect start, charging down Sale’s clearance from the kick-off and turning field position into points when Elliott Obatoyinbo’s jinking run and offload fed Pedro Rubiolo for the game’s opening try.

Brett Connon converted from in front of the posts, but the sides were level on ten minutes when Tom Roebuck rose highest to catch George Ford’s spiral bomb before racing between the posts – Ford adding the extras.

The home side had the lead on the quarter mark when Joe Carpenter’s line-break down the right saw the full-back feeding an inside pass to Sam James, with the replacement grounding between the posts for Ford to add the conversion.

The Sharks doubled their advantage just after the half-hour when they kicked a penalty to the left corner and scored from the resulting period of pick-and-go, flanker Ben Curry marking his 150th appearance with a close-range score.

Ford once again added the conversion, and his side’s 21-7 advantage stood at the interval despite the Falcons’ best efforts, having burgled the back of a Sale ruck only to lose possession from the next phase.

The Sharks wrapped up the bonus point four minutes into the second half when England prop Bevan Rodd scored in the corner – a line-break down the middle seeing the ball quickly worked to the left.

It got worse for the visitors on 55 minutes when Sale scrum-half Raffi Quirke scored an interception try from 40 metres out, and even a succession of close-range penalties could not bring the visitors a try as Sale’s maul defence held firm.

The Sharks added a penalty try from a scrum-five in the left corner with ten minutes to go in a play which saw replacement prop Phil Brantingham sent to the sin-bin, and they had time for two more tries when Arron Reed and Sam James both crossed in the left corner late on.

Jamie Blamire added a consolation for the Falcons with a try from a pick-and-go on 80 minutes, but it could not mask his team’s disappointment.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando (Tian Schoeman, 55), 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon (Josh Thomas, 70), 9 Sam Stuart (Josh Barton, 60); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Phil Brantingham, 10), 2 Jamie Blamire (Conrad Cade, 74), 3 Mark Tampin (Richard Palframan, 51), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 7 Philip van der Walt (Freddie Lockwood, 60), 8 Callum Chick (captain, Carl Fearns, 30).

**Scorers –** Tries: Pedro Rubiolo, Jamie Blamire. Conversions: Brett Connon.

**Sale Sharks:** 15 Joe Carpenter, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Robert du Preez, 12 Manu Tuilagi (Sam James, 10), 11 Arron Reed, 10 George Ford, 9 Raffi Quirke (Will Cliff, 63); 1 Bevan Rodd (Simon McIntyre, 49), 2 Ewan Ashman (Ethan Caine, 63), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (James Harper,49), 4 Jean-Luc du Preez (Tom Ellis, 49), 5 Jonny Hill (Alex Groves, 63), 6 Sam Dugdale, 7 Ben Curry, 8 Jono Ross (captain, Josh Beaumont, 55).

**Scorers –** Tries: Tom Roebuck, Sam James 2, Ben Curry, Bevan Rodd, Raffi Quirke, Penalty try, Arron Reed. Conversions: George Ford 6.

**Referee:** Sara Cox.