Aviva Premiership: London Irish come from behind to beat Sale

Last Updated: 10/05/14 6:00pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

London Irish ended their Aviva Premiership season in style by turning around a 10-point deficit to defeat sixth-placed Sale 22-20.

Irish trailed 20-10 early in the second half but produced a strong performance after the break to stun their visitors who had looked in control of match.

Andy Fenby scored two tries while Marland Yarde also went over for the Exiles with James O'Connor kicking a penalty and and two conversions.

O'Connor also provided two scoring passes and Irish's win would have been greater had he been more accurate off the kicking tee.

Sale scored first-half tries through Mark Easter and Tom Arscott with Joe Ford kicking two penalties and two conversions.

Sale started strongly, winning a couple of penalties to secure a platform in the home 22. A driving line-out put Irish on the back foot allowing Easter to crash over for the try which Ford converted.

But Irish were level within two minutes. Ofisa Treviranus ran powerfully to open up the Sale defence before a well-timed pass from O'Connor gave Fenby the chance to evade a weak tackle from Arscott and race away to score. O'Connor added the extras.

Irish had the better of the opening quarter and should have been ahead at the end of it but O'Connor was wide with a straightforward penalty attempt.

Sale regained the lead against the run of play as Irish carelessly lost possession. Cliff made a neat break to send Jonny Leota into space before the centre provided the scoring pass for Arscott.

Half-time advantage

Ford converted before he exchanged penalties with O'Connor to leave Sale 17-10 ahead at half-time.

Ford then extended that advantage with his second penalty before Sale carelessly conceded a second try.

The visitors lost a line-out on halfway, giving the hosts an opportunity to attack, and they moved the ball wide before another well-timed pass from O'Connor gave Yarde a chance to cruise past more weak tackling from Sale.

O'Connor converted with a splendid touchline kick to further reduce the arrears.

An illegal shoulder charge from Exiles replacement prop Tom Smallbone on Arscott allowed Sale to take play into the opposition 22 but the visitors were unable to take advantage as they declined kickable penalties in favour of more attacking options which came to nothing.

Sale were then made to pay as Irish burst away with Treviranus and Yarde making big contributions to a movement which ended with Fenby running elusively for an excellent try.

O'Connor failed with the simple conversion but Irish led 22-20 with 15 minutes remaining.

Sale should have been back in front but replacement Nick Macloed missed a kickable penalty and Sale's chance had gone.

O'Connor missed two late penalty chances but Irish had done enough to claim the win.

  • Share:


Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round 22

Nigel Davies: Left frustrated by defeat to already relegated Worcester

Davies left disappointed

Gloucester chief Nigel Davies felt his side's 28-27 defeat against already relegated Worcester summed up their campaign.

Jim Mallinder: Not carried away with record win

Mallinder stays grounded

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder is not getting carried away with their thumping 74-13 win over a weakened Wasps side.

Conor O'Shea: Saw Harlequins secure play-off spot

O'Shea hails super Harlequins

Conor O'Shea hailed Harlequins' mental strength after beating Bath to secure the last Aviva Premiership play-off spot.

Most Popular


On Soccer Saturday...

On Soccer Saturday...

Join Jeff Stelling and the boys for another action-packed Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports.

Best centre-back?

Best centre-back?

Terry, Kompany, Koscielny, Skrtel? Who is the best central defender in the Premier League?

Aus' Road to the final

Aus' Road to the final

Here's how Australia reached Sunday's final after losing to New Zealand in the World Cup Group stages...