Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Bath 42-24 Sale Sharks

Joe Cokanasiga scored two tries for Bath
Joe Cokanasiga scored two tries for Bath
©Steve Haag

Bath Rugby 42-24 Sale Sharks, The Recreation Ground

Joe Cokanasiga led with a double as Bath defeated Sale Sharks 42-24 at The Recreation Ground on Sunday.

This was an eighth win of the season for Bath, one which was also a gentle nod towards possible title candidates as they moved into second place in the table while Sale - still without a win this year in the Premiership - are now eight points off the play-offs.

Bath went on the attack early and were rewarded when Cameron Redpath offloaded to Matt Gallagher for the opening try in the 3rd minute and Finn Russell landed the conversion.

Sale responded almost immediately as Manu Tuilagi spun a tackle to score in the corner. George Ford kicked a conversion and a penalty on to make it 7-10.

The home side doubled their tally as Tom Dunn and Redpath combined to send Cokanasiga over the line and Russell kicked the extras as Bath went into the break with a 14-10 lead.

Sale were quickest out of the blocks early in the second half as Tom Roebuck touched down and Ford improved it to make it 14-17 before Russell's penalty helped Bath level the scores by the 47th minute.

As Player of the Match Cokanasiga and Sam Dugdale traded tries, Bath lost Ollie Lawrence to a yellow card for a head-on-head tackle.

However despite being a man down, Bath seized the final quarter with Russell kicking a penalty and then landing a drop goal off his wrong foot before Dunn powered his way over following a line out drive in the 70th minute.

Russell kicked the conversion making it 34-24 before Lawrence returned from the sin bin to make amends with Bath's fifth try completing a 42-24 victory.

Team line-ups:

Bath: Gallagher, Cokanasiga, Lawrence, Redpath, Muir, Russell, Spencer (c); Obano, Dunn, Du Toit, Roux, Ewels, Hill, Underhill, Barbeary.

Reserves: Faiva, Schoeman, Griffin, Stooke, Reid, Schreuder, Bailey, Coetzee.

Sale: Carpenter, Roebuck, R. Du Preez (c), Tuilagi, Reed, Ford, Warr; Rodd, Cowan-Dickie, Harper, Wiese, Beaumont, Van Rhyn, Dugdale, J.L Du Preez.??

Reserves: Taylor, McIntyre, Opoku-Fordjour, Bamber, Andrews, Quirke, James, O'Flaherty.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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