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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Friday, 28 October 2011 21:36 UK

Sale 13-34 Leicester

Sale (13) 13
Tries: Brady Cons: MacLeod Pens: MacLeod 2
Leicester (3) 34
Tries: Tuilagi, Castrogiovanni, Flood, Ayerza Cons: Flood 4 Pens: Flood 2

Sale v Leicester
Leicester have now won their last four encounters with Sale

Leicester scored 31 unanswered points in a formidable second-half comeback to secure a much needed bonus-point Premiership victory at Sale.

Toby Flood's early penalty put the Tigers in front before Nick MacLeod hit two penalties and converted Tom Brady's try in an error-strewn first half.

Tries by Alesana Tuilagi and Martin Castrogiovanni put the Tigers ahead, both scores converted by Flood.

Flood and Marcos Ayerza then crossed to secure Leicester their second win.

The result takes the seven-times Premiership champions up to ninth in the table.

The Tigers' set piece was dominant throughout the match but the first half was scrappy and error-strewn before the visitors came alive after the break.

Flood's 10th-minute penalty was just reward for his side's early domination but Geordan Murphy almost gave a try away when he dawdled with a bouncing ball on the try line, only for Brady to knock on as he went over.

Dwayne Peel helped Sale work their way into the game and although Leicester were enjoying good possession their careless errors put them under needless pressure.

Two quick-fire MacLeod penalties put the Sharks ahead before Brady got his try in the 36th minute as Tigers switched off for MacLeod's tap and go. Sale's stand-off converted the try for a 10-point lead at the break.

Leicester emerged for the second half with purpose and, after Flood booted an easy penalty, a classic catch-and-drive tied in Sale's defenders to allow Tuilagi to coast in under the posts.

The Tigers' superior line-out soon paid dividends again when Castrogiovanni burrowed over and the Italy international was also instrumental in Flood's try under the posts. Both scores were converted by the England number 10.

Ayerza ensured the bonus point when he wrestled his way over after another superb line-out steal by Tom Croft.


Sale executive director of sport Steve Diamond:

"I think after 10 minutes of the second half we realised where we are at.

"We had no ball and the pressure told. Against a side like Leicester you can't compete.

"Our set-piece let us down, they scored from two driving mauls five metres out and our scrum didn't look very stable for most of the game.

"We've got a lot to work on and we got taught a lesson today, but that's how you learn."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"We've had a bit of stick across the board about everything in the past six or seven weeks, but we've stuck to our guns and we've worked through it and believed in the stuff we do.

"Tonight we got proved right, but it's one win and there's a long way to go.

"We've got London Irish next week, who are a very good side, and we need to be more accurate in certain parts of our game because in other games you will get punished and not recover from that."


Sale: Miller; Brady, Leota, Tuitupou (capt), Cueto; MacLeod, Peel; Cobilas, Jones, Thomas; Lewaravu, Myall; Gaskell, Seymour, Vernon.

Replacements: Addison for Brady (72), Cliff for Peel (62), Imiolek for Cobilas (71), Ward for Jones (51), Buckley for Thomas (57), Powell for Lewaravu (51).

Leicester: Murphy (capt); Hamilton, Agulla, Smith, A Tuilagi; Flood, Harrison; Ayerza, Chuter, Cole; Skivington, Parling; Croft, Salvi, Waldrom.

Replacements: Morris for Murphy (73), Staunton for Flood (73), Grindal for Harrison (62), Stankovich for Ayerza (71), T. Youngs for Chuter (65), Castrogiovanni for Cole (55), Slater for Skivington (64), Mafi for Croft (71).

Att: 8,673.

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU).

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see also
Sale 13-11 Gloucester
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Scarlets 31-3 Leicester
15 Oct 11 |  Scarlets
Rugby Union commentaries
14 Feb 13 |  Rugby Union

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