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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 20:30 GMT 21:30 UK
Sale Sharks 34-26 Saracens
Charlie Hodgson
Hodgson booted 19 points to keep Sale on track

Sale 34 (19)
Tries: Taylor, Cueto, J Fernandez Lobbe
Cons: Hodgson (2)
Pens: Hodgson (5)

Saracens 26 (9)
Tries: Penney, Johnston, Jackson
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson (3)

Defending champions Sale defeated a battling Saracens side to move second behind Premiership leaders Wasps.

Charlie Hodgson's boot proved the difference between the two sides as both scored three tries apiece.

Mark Taylor, Mark Cueto and Argentine Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe scored for Sale with Rodd Penney, Ben Johnston and Glen Jackson touching down for Sarries.

Andy Farrell did not get the chance to face former Wigan team-mate Jason Robinson as he stayed on the bench.

Hodgson and Jackson traded penalties in the first half-hour before Taylor received the ball from Cueto and nipped over the line.

Saracen's lack of discipline let Cueto in after the break as the England winger skipped over with Cobus Visagie and Matt Cairns in the sin-bin.

But Sarries refused to lie down with Penney touching down after 52 minutes before Johnston, who also had a spell in the sin-bin, gliding over down the centre channel.

Jackson could only convert one of the three tries and Fernandez Lobbe muscled his way over from close range to restore Sale's advantage.

Jackson went some way to making amends with a try in the corner in the dying minutes but a fifth penalty from Hodgson made victory for Sale safe.

  • Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre:
    "I am pleased with the win and that Saracens did not get a bonus point, but I think they deserved something.

    "We were OK going forward for 50 to 55 minutes but after that we switched off completely.

    "We looked shaky in defence and we need to be much better because we did not close the game out."

  • Saracens director of rugby Alan Gaffney:
    "We dug in, but our ill-discipline let us down again. We gave away too many penalties.

    "Three guys getting binned does put a bit of pressure on you.

    "That obviously changed in the second half when we had a crack at them. We played a lot better then."

    Sale: Robinson; Cueto, Taylor, Bell, Foden; Hodgson, Martens; Sheridan, Bruno, Turner; Jones, Day; White, Lund, J Fernandez Lobbe.
    Replacements: Wigglesworth for Martens (51), Evans for Turner (56), Chabal for Day (56), Tait for Lund (73)
    Not Used: Goana, Larrechea, Mayor.

    Sin Bin: Wigglesworth (64).

    Saracens: Scarbrough; Penney, Sorrell, Johnston, Ratuvou; Jackson, Dickens; Yates, Cairns, Visagie; Vyvyan, Raiwalui; Chesney, Seymour, Russell.
    Replacements: Ryder for Raiwalui (73), Byrne for Seymour (49), Broster for Russell (49).
    Not Used: Gustard, Farrell, Rauluni, Vaikona.

    Sin Bin:Johnston (25), Visagie (39), Cairns (47).

    Attendance: 9,537.

    Referee: W Barnes (RFU).

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