Aviva Premiership: Harlequins pile on misery for Sale Sharks
Last Updated: 22/02/13 10:34pm
Maurie Fa'asavalu on the charge for Quins
Harlequins scored three tries as they extended their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a 30-21 victory over bottom club Sale Sharks.
Cameron Shepherd's try took Sale into an early lead, but Quins controlled the rest of the half with Tom Williams touching down and Ben Botica adding eight points with the boot.
Botica continued his fine form in the second period with another penalty before converted scores from Nck Easter and Charlie Matthews sealed a fine victory, their 12th in 13 games.
Richie Vernon and Sam Tuitupou scored consolation efforts in the last few minutes for Sale, but they could not get close enough for a bonus point.
Just two minutes had elapsed when Quins were turned over in the contact area. Will Cliff then fed Henry Thomas and good hands from Tuitupou and Mark Cueto sent the full-back away.
Danny Cipriani converted impressively from a difficult angle and the league's bottom club led 7-0 but Botica quickly ate into the arrears with a penalty.
The London-based outfit began to dominate and with ill discipline at the tackle area proving costly, Harlequins' Kiwi stand-off added a second from the tee.
Another penalty then forced referee Martin Fox to send Tuitupou to the sin-bin and the away side profited when Williams touched down.
Karl Dickson took advantage of the space left by Cueto, who was lying injured on the ground, and his surging run was finished by the right winger, with Botica converting for a 13-7 lead at the interval.
The second half continued with the defending Premiership champions controlling proceedings and their fly-half took them nine points clear after another Sharks' indiscretion.
Harlequins' back-row Maurie Fa'asavalu then received a yellow card for punching Marc Jones, but a lineout drive saw Easter touch down, Botica converting, to take the score to 23-7.
Further pressure on the home team's line then led to Matthews going over, before Vernon and Tuitupou crossed late on as the home side rallied, but it was too little too late.
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 16
Take a look back at the best of the action from the latest round of action in the Aviva Premiership...
Errie Claassens and Chris Hala'ufia have been cited following incidents during last weekend's Aviva Premiership action.
Dai Young conceded that his high-flying Wasps were second-best as they crumbled to a 30-19 defeat in Reading.
- Irish ease relegation fears
- McCall: Strettle in top form
- Saracens earn comeback win
- Foden form impresses Dickens
- Big win delights Exeter boss
- Chiefs run amok in Welsh win
- Saints stay in play-off chase
- Hill fumes at last-gasp call
- O'Shea ecstatic at Sale win
- Worcester pay the penalty
- Leicester v Saracens: Teams
- London Irish v Wasps: Teams
- Exeter v L Welsh: Teams
- Sale v Harlequins: Teams
- Gloucester v Worcester: Teams