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Page last updated at 22:21 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 23:21 UK

Sale 12-25 Bath

Sale (9) 12
Pens: Thomas 4
Bath (13) 25
Tries: Banahan, Carraro 2 Cons: Little 2 Pen: Little Drop-goal: Little

Bath's Nicky Little tries to stop Sale's Lee Thomas
Bath's Nicky Little tries to stop Sale's Lee Thomas

Bath claimed a hard-fought win over Sale to secure their opening victory of the Guinness Premiership season.

Australian centre Matt Carraro touched down in each half - after being set up by Nicky Little for the first and then by Shontayne Hape for the second.

England wing Matt Banahan also went over just after the break.

But the visitors were forced to hold on in the closing stages after Banahan and replacement Andy Beattie were sin-binned by referee David Pearson.

Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones:

"Our defence has probably been the best in the Premiership in the last five years, but it's about attitude and when it doesn't work you have to question the attitude.

"No team in the Premiership can turn up with anything less than 100% and the intensity shown was nowhere near what it was a fortnight ago against Leicester.

"We still couldn't convert the pressure into points with 13 players and that's disappointing. They're a good side, well coached, and we just weren't good enough."

Bath head coach Steve Meehan:

"There has been a cloud over the club at various times but, as a squad, we certainly haven't felt that it has been a weight and we've tried to move on.

"I think we have been building towards this result. The guys really applied themselves and I don't think you could fault anybody in terms of commitment."

"The supporters have had to put with a lot at times but this was great."

Sale: McLeod; Cueto, M Tait, Bell, Cohen; Thomas, Wigglesworth; Sheridan, M Jones, Roberts, Gaskell, Schofield, L Abraham, D Seymour, C Jones.
Replacements: Briggs for Abraham (40), Ripol for Cohen (56), Kennedy for Bell (69), Forster for Roberts (69).
Not Used: Kerr, Cockbain, D Tait, Cliff.

Bath: Cuthbert; Maddock, Carraro, Hape, Banahan; Little, Claassens; Barnes, Mears, Bell, Short, Grewcock, Faamatuainu, Salvi, Skirving.
Replacements: Hooper for Short (65), Jarvis for Bell (69), Beattie for Faamatuainu (72), Davis for Little (74), Flatman for Barnes (76).
Not Used: Dixon, Bemand, Stephenson.

Sin Bin: Banahan (70), Beattie (74)

Att: 7,028

Referee: David Pearson (RFU)

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see also
Guscott's predictions
17 Sep 09 |  English
Newcastle 16-16 Sale
13 Sep 09 |  English
Bath 15-17 Wasps
12 Sep 09 |  English

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