Hodgson drops in for Sale
Last gasp drop-goal sinks Saracens
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 13/09/08 10:28am
A classic drop-goal deep into injury-time from Charlie Hodgson gave Sale a dramatic victory over Saracens in their Guinness Premiership clash on Friday.
With the scores tied at 15 apiece the erstwhile England fly-half sent the Edgeley Park faithful ballistic, collecting the ball in the dying seconds and calmly slotting between the posts to inflict a second successive deafeat on the visitors.
Saracens had stamped their authority on the match early on, opening up 9-0 lead in the first half hour courtesy of Glen Jackson, who landed the first of five penalties.
But the home side fought back with four penalties of their own to take a 12-9 lead soon after the half time break.
Saracens dominated up front to such an extent that it took Sale almost 30 minutes to escape their own half and by the 26th minute Jackson had landed three penalties to put his side seemingly in complete control.
But when scrum-half Neil De Kock came off after taking a blow to the face Sale began to claw their way back into the game.
Hodgson landed two excellent long distance penalties to close the gap to just three points at 9-6 by the mid way point but missed the opportunity draw level, sending another wide from 25 metres on the stroke of half-time.
Luke McAlister took over kicking duties after the restart and two well-struck penalties edged Sale ahead 12-9 by the 45th minute.
Saracens were unlucky to have what looked like a perfectly legal score disallowed by Andy Saull in the 50th minute referee Rob Debney adjudged the young forward to have knocked on.
Moments later Jackson levelled the scores at 12-12 his fourth penalty but McAlister replied on 60 minutes to edge Sale back in front.
Five minutes later, Jackson's fifth penalty of the evening again drew the scores level but Hodgson had the final say to clinch victory for the home side at the death.