Sale Sharks Video Ranking: / 5
Sale Sharks Video clip Score: five / 5
A spectacular second half display from Sale Sharks was enough to see off Spanish champions C.R. La Vila. Johnny Leota stole the show, running in a second half hat trick but it was the Sharks’ dominance in the pack that was the true underlying factor in their dominant victory. Their dominance forced the visitors into carelessness at the breakdown, twice being forced to play 10 minutes with 14 men, following the sin binning of McCashin and Quirelli.
The game started in a nervous fashion, with the Sharks determined to recover from defeat in last week’s encounter with Brive and La Vila nervously awaiting to see which Shark’s team would turn out in this game, the team who seemed unstoppable in the early stages of the season, or the team who have more recently struggled against Leicester, Saracens and Brive. Both scrums were penalised in the opening stages and handling errors were rife from both sides.
The game changed on 15 minutes when La Vila were first reduced to 14 men following fly half McCashin’s yellow card for a professional foul. The breakthrough followed shortly after when a big Shark’s scrum resulted in the referee awarding a penalty try with Miller adding his first of 7 conversions. Controversial Welsh star, and Sharks’ captain for the night Andy Powell added the second try on 23 minutes and the bonus point was in sight when a third was added by Higgins soon after. The Sharks then became sloppy, giving away two penalties which McCashin was able to convert to keep the visitors in the game with a half time score of 19-6 to the home side.
The Sharks emerged from their half time break and seemed to step up a gear. The bonus point was secured on 48 minutes following some clever back work being cleverly finished off by some clever footwork from Leota. The Sharks continued to dominate for the rest of the game with further tries from Higgins, Burrell, Willis and Vernon secured the victory and then a 3 minute double from Leota secured his hat trick and proved the icing on the cake for the Sharks. 40 unanswered second half points from the Sharks gave them a resounding victory by 59 points to 6.