Match Centre: Sale Sharks 27-27 London Irish

Paddy Jackson missed out on the conversion in the closing stage of the game
Paddy Jackson missed out on the conversion in the closing stage of the game

Sale 27-27 London Irish, AJ Bell Stadium

Paddy Jackson missed out on the conversion at the end as Sale Sharks and London Irish settled for a 27-27 draw in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at AJ Bell Stadium.

This is fourth draw involving London Irish as they are at fourth place in the table with 48 points while Sale Sharks are at sixth position with 48 points.

The 8th minute saw Sale Sharks had a try disallowed after Lood de Jager crashed over but after a consultation with a TMO, the officials adjudged it to have a knock-on.

Both the teams were desperate for a breakthrough and it did not come until the 32nd minute when Lucio Cinti sent a perfect offload for Terrence Hepetema to score and Jackson followed with the conversion making it 0-7. However, their momentum was dented with Stokes sin-binned for a trip in the 36th minute.

With the numerical advantage on their side, Sale got their opening try with Dan du Preez powering his way over at the back of a maul. Though AJ MacGinty missed out on the conversion he made amends with a penalty goal at the stroke of half time as the teams went into the break with a 8-7 scoreline.

Jackson helped the Exiles seize the lead with an early penalty goal in the second half but it was short lived as Jean-Luc du Preez crossed over in the 43rd minute and MacGinty this time kicked the conversion right.

The scores were levelled by the 50th minute as this time Stokes, who came from the sin bin to dive in the corner but Jackson missed out on the extras. London Irish's indiscipline hampered their progress as Olly Cracknell was then shown a yellow card for a late tackle in the 53rd minute pushing them down to 14 players again.

With Dan du Preez and Benhard Janse van Rensburg trading tries, the scores continued to remain level at 22-22 before Aaron Reed sprinted in the corner to put the home side in front again with a 27-22 lead.

Juan Martin Gonzalez then looked to have scored in the corner, but a good last-ditch tackle from Sale put the flanker into touch. With five minutes left in the game, London Irish made a strong comeback as Nick Phipps dived over after picking up from the back of a maul but to their disappointment Jackson failed to convert it as the teams went on to share the points.

Team line up:

Sale: S James; Roebuck, R Du Preez, R Janse van Rensburg, Reed; MacGinty, De Klerk; McIntyre, Langdon, Oosthuizen, JL Du Preez, De Jager, Ross (capt.) Curry, D Du Preez

Reserves: Taylor, Harrison, Jones, Wiese, Nield, Quirke, Doherty, McGuigan

London Irish: Stokes; Cinti, Rona, Hepetema, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Phipps (capt.); Goodrick-Clarke, Creevy, Van der Merwe; Munga, Simmons, Cracknell, Pearson; Tuisue

Reserves: Cornish, Gigena, Hoskins, Cooke, Gonzalez, O'Sullivan, B Janse van Rensburg, Rowe

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

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