Solomona's hat-trick shock Wasps

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:11
Large sale sharks celebrates 800

PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Denny Solomona delivered one of the best individual displays ever seen at the AJ Bell Stadium as his hat-trick helped Sale Sharks stun Premiership Rugby leaders Wasps with a 34-28 win.

The wing scored three times in the first half, with the first seeing him score in his first five Premiership Rugby games – a record in the competition.

And when Mark Jennings opened the second half with the bonus-point score, Sharks were living in dreamland with the score at 34-9 – the perfect foundation for their fifth successive win in all competitions.

Yet Wasps fought back through Josh Bassett and Ashley Johnson, eventually falling short and missing out on a chance to extend their lead atop the table, despite Kurtley Beale setting up a frantic finish with ten minutes remaining.

Sale had started on the back-foot, but a long-range penalty from Will Addison – impeccable all afternoon – produced some much-needed momentum, despite Jimmy Gopperth levelling up from the tee.

But with confidence came excellent rugby from Steve Diamond’s side, with Solomona coming off his wing, picking the ball up from the ruck and speeding in under the posts.

Two more Gopperth penalties kept Wasps in touching distance however, looking to make the most of nearest-challengers Saracens missing out to Gloucester Rugby on Friday.

But Solomona made that challenge all the more difficult when adding a second for his side, chipping forward and gathering in superb style to set the AJ Bell Stadium rocking.

The 23-year-old was not to be done there either, wrapping up his first Premiership Rugby hat-trick within just 39 minutes as good Sharks work down the blindside saw him dot down, with Addison again adding the extras.

Any hopes of a Wasps comeback seemed thwarted immediately into the second half as Jennings profited from a driving maul, before a knock-on prevented Solomona from getting a mesmeric fourth of the afternoon.

But the visitors showed exactly why they lead the  Premiership Rugby standings, with Dai Young’s side dropping just four points since defeat to Gloucester Rugby in November.

A break from Beale led to a clinical breakaway from which Bassett provided apt support, running in for his side’s first try of the afternoon to cut the gap to 15 points.

Still Wasps kept on pushing, scoring a second with still 25 minutes left to play as Johnson dotted down in the corner, though Danny Cipriani was unable to add the extra two points from the tee.

And suddenly Wasps were back within one score as an excellent Willie le Roux saw Beale get a deserved score of his own, with Cipriani this time striking an important conversion to unleash a six-point game.

But with the scoreboard ticking down, a resolute Sale defence proved its worth, confidently running down the clock to maintain their winning form and take maximum points, with Wasps forced to settle for a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries:
Solomona 3, Jennings
Cons: Addison 4
Pens: Addison 2

For Wasps:
Tries:
Bassett, Johnson, Beale
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 3

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Will Addison (captain), 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 Sam James, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 George Nott, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 James Flynn, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 Tom Curry, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Johnny Leota

Wasps: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jimmy Gopperth, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Alex Rieder, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson (captain), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 Willie Le Roux

Referee: Matthew Carly
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest, Anthony Woodthorpe
TMO: Sean Davey

@Premrugby

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Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
Sharks v Force 13h05 Kings Park, Durban
Bulls v Crusaders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
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PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 21 16 1 4 79
Exeter Chiefs 21 14 3 4 79
Saracens 21 16 1 4 77
Leicester Tigers 21 13 0 8 62
Bath 21 12 0 9 58
Harlequins 21 11 0 10 51
Northampton Saints 21 9 0 12 48
Gloucester 21 7 2 12 46
Newcastle Falcons 21 9 0 12 44
Sale Sharks 21 6 1 14 36
Worcester Warriors 21 5 2 14 32
Bristol 21 3 0 18 19