Sale claimed their third victory over Harlequins in 20 days to pull clear of the Premiership relegation zone with a dramatic 21-16 home win at Edgeley Park on Friday.
The home side, boosted by the return of internationals Mark Cueto, Mathew Tait and Dwayne Peel, led at the break with two Charlie Hodgson penalties and a James Gaskell try.
Quins fly-half Nick Evans kept his side in touch but another Hodgson penalty and Ben Cohen’s try extended the lead.
A Tom Guest try on the hour got Quins back into the tie before winger Ugo Monye went over for what would have been the match-winner in injury time only for the video referee to disallow the score for a foot in touch.
Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones paid tribute to fly-half Hodgson after his last-ditch tackle helped deny Monye.
“The way Charlie Hodgson made that tackle sums up the way he is playing at the moment. Any flanker would have been proud of that tackle. Its importance is massive,” Jones said. “I’ve over the moon with Charlie. I think he’s playing the rugby of his life.”
Harlequins, who have now lost four successive matches in all competitions, were hit by the late withdrawal of John Andress and Nils Mordt.
Sale were more purposeful in the second half with Dean Schofield, Carl Fearns and Matthew Tait punching holes in the Quins’ defense.
Peel opened up a gap and Tait got left winger Ben Cohen charging over for his fourth try of the season.
At 21-9, the contest appeared over, but the visitors remained a threat.
Evans charged down Hodgson’s attempted clearance and was inches away from getting the touchdown, but he went off injured on 56 minutes after kicking a third penalty.
That might have signaled the end of Harlequins’ resistance, but the game was back in the balance on 61 minutes when replacement forward Guest forced his way over from close range for a try.
Rory Clegg added the conversion to cut the gap to just five points.
Quins piled on the pressure in the last five minutes and the Sharks defense worked overtime to keep their line intact, with Hodgson pulling off the all-important tackle on Monye.
Quins remain sixth with 24 points after 12 games with Sale two points behind in seventh with a game in hand.
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
GLOBAL REACH: Taiwan Cricket said that up to five sides could play in a broadcast competition and that upgrading local infrastructure would be beneficial to a deal Broadcasting companies are turning to Taiwan for cricket content amid the shutdown of the sport in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Internet streaming platform based in Mumbai, India, yesterday contacted Taiwan Cricket asking for rights to stream games in Taipei to its cricket-starved audience, which it put at 75 million people. Yesterday, another India-based live sports streaming platform was seeking a “Taiwan cricket partnership.” The firms were promising global reach through their platforms with live content for users. They also said that they were looking at basketball and soccer in Taiwan. Taiwan Cricket — which is not recognized by the government — promotes
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training
US President Donald Trump talked to many US professional sports leaders about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he was looking forward to the resumption of competitions “as soon as we can.” “I want fans back in the arenas,” Trump said later in a briefing at the White House. “I think it’s ... whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and [ice] hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe