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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Hodgson savours Premiership crown
Charlie Hodgson
Hodgson kicked 23 points and set up Oriol Ripol's try
Charlie Hodgson said Sale Sharks would "savour every moment" after winning the English title with a powerful win over Leicester in the Premiership final.

Hodgson, who won the man-of-the-match award, kicked 23 points as the Sharks beat Tigers 45-20 at a wet Twickenham.

"It's an amazing feeling. I can't describe how good it feels," said England fly-half Hodgson.

"In the end it was a comfortable win, the way we defended and turned the ball over was key today."

Hodgson also created Sale's third try on the stroke of half-time with an audacious dummy to set up Oriol Ripol's score in the corner.

The Sharks became the first side to win the Premiership title after ending the season top of the table.

Our plan was to be champions in three years - we are champions in two

Sale coach Philippe Saint-Andre

"If you sit at the top of the league and don't win you are going to be disappointed but we are absolutely delighted," added Hodgson.

"It's the first time for the club and we're going to savour every last minute.

"It was a case of not playing too much in your own half. Obviously we would have wished for better conditions but we adapted to that."

Sale coach Philippe Saint-Andre said he was proud to see his side become champions in his two years in charge of the club.

Pat Howard
Tigers coach Howard admitted his side were outclassed

"I think justice has been done," said the Frenchman. "We deserved this.

"We've improved a lot in these two years. This is fantastic for the club and for the players and for a young squad to have the winning habit is great.

"It will give us confidence. This is a big step. Manchester is not just a football city now - it also has a rugby club.

"Our plan was to be champions in three years (after he joined). We are champions in two."

The kicking game, the pressure and the ability to get ourselves out of difficult areas was the difference

Tigers coach Pat Howard

Of the game, he added: "We were in control, we were patient and we did not panic.

"Our kicking was also very good. They had to take a lot of risks and they made errors."

Tigers coach Pat Howard felt his side's kicking game was no match for Sale's.

"Their kicking game well and truly outclassed ours," he said.

"The kicking game, the pressure and the ability to get ourselves out of difficult areas was the difference.

"They played the game in the right areas of the field and I think we tried to play a little bit too much.

"I didn't think the margin in the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game though."



SEE ALSO
Sale 45-20 Leicester
27 May 06 |  English
Clockwatch: Sale 45-20 Leicester
27 May 06 |  English


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