Bath Rugby 20-24 Sale Sharks, Recreation Ground
Curtis Langdon scored the decisive try in the closing stage as Sale Sharks came from behind to edge out Bath Rugby 24-20 in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at Recreation Ground.
Sale Sharks now have moved to second place with 64 points - 14 over fifth placed Northampton Saints - but they will be lining up against Bristol, Harlequins and Exeter in the final three rounds while Bath are at seventh place.
It took the home side just five minutes to start the proceedings when Anthony Watson created the space for Tom de Glanville, who in turn made a perfect pass for Cameron Redpath to score. Rhys Priestland kicked the conversion to take the hosts to a 7-0 lead.
The response from the visitors came in the 9th minute when JP du Preez collected a pass from Faf de Klerk to dot down and Aj MacGinty kicked the extras. Stuart Hooper's men doubled their tally by the end of the first quarter with Will Chudley setting up Josh Bayliss powered his way over and Priestand was once again spot on with the conversion making it 14-7.
With four minutes left to half-time, de Klerk was once again amongst the action as his pass allowed Byron McGuigan to dot down making it 14-12 before Priestland with the first penalty of the game extended Bath's lead to five points which was wiped out at the end of the opening half after Simon Hammersley went over for Sale.
Bath showed a lot of intent at the start of the second half and the pressure eventually saw them win a penalty goal that Priestland kicked in the 55th minute to make it 20-17 and their chances were bolstered as Sale lost Wiese and Raphael Quirke to yellow cards in the 58th and 61st minutes respectively.
Bath failed to make use of the numerical advantage with Curry brothers - Tom and Ben - being instrumental for Sale at breakdown. In the 76th minute, Bath lost Ewels to yellow card allowing Langdon to go over at the back of a maul for the decisive try and MacGinty converted to complete a four point victory despite the visitors suffering their third yellow card to McGuigan in the added minutes.
Team line up:
Bath: de Glanville; Watson, Clark, Redpath, Muir; Priestland, Chudley; Schoeman, du Toit, Thomas, Spencer, Ewels, Bayliss, Underhill, Mercer.
Reserves: Doughty, Bhatti, Judge, McNally, Faletau, Spencer, Bailey, Cokanasiga
Sale: Hammersley; McGuigan, S James, Hill, Yarde; MacGinty, de Klerk, Rodd, van de Merwe, Oosthuizen, Phillips, JP du Preez, Wiese, T Curry, JL du Preez
Reserves: Langdon, Morozov, Harper, Neild, B Curry, Quirke, Wilkinson, Doherty
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
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