Mercer heroics seals 33-32 victory for Bath over Sale Sharks

Zach Mercer was one of Bath’s heroes
Zach Mercer was one of Bath’s heroes
©David Davies/PA

Bath Rugby 33-32 Sale Sharks, Recreation Ground

Zach Mercer scored a last-minute try while James Wilson kicked a nerveless conversion as Bath Rugby went on to beat Sale Sharks 33-32 in their Aviva Premiership encounter at Recreation Ground on Saturday.

Wilson starting his first match at fly-half due to injuries kicked back to back penalties in the 2nd and 4th minute to help them to a six-point lead but Sale Sharks bounced back through a 13th minute try from Denny Solomona and a conversion from Faf de Klerk.

Sharks’ second was slick but simple. Attacking off a lineout, Ben Curry found Faf de Klerk, who got on the outside of Wilson to create an overlap, with quick hands sending Marland Yarde through.

Sale Sharks had a 6-12 lead at the end of the first quarter following which Wilson and de Klerk exchanged penalties to maintain 9-15 lead for the visitors. Mercer got Bath into the game with the first of his two touchdowns coming in the 34th minute but Wilson's second penalty meant Sale Sharks had a slender 16-18 lead heading into the break.

De Klerk slotted three more penalties in the third quarter during which Josh Bayliss scored a try and Wilson kicked a penalty and a conversion as the scoreline was 26-27 in favour of Sale Sharks.

As the game was nearing the final 10 minutes, Solomona agility saw him score his second try to provide Sale Sharks a breathing space of six-point lead and Bath managed to clinch a last-minute victory with Mercer's 78th-minute touchdown that was converted by Wilson.

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