Saracens pile pressure on Munster with crucial away win at Sale

Sale 15-19 Saracens

MUNSTER NOW KNOW that anything less than a win at Thomond Park could be fatal to their Champions Cup hopes after Saracens picked up an important away win at the AJ Bell stadium against Sale.

It was a closely contested affair throughout but there was one moment of quality that swung the game in the visitors favour.

Midway through the first half Charlie Hodgson took the ball flat on the gain line after a lineout on the Sale ten metre line, and after throwing a dummy and motoring past four defenders he was able to free his hands and offload to Owen Farrell to score.

That scintillating score allowed Saracens to take a 11-10 lead into the break, with penalties from Hodgson and Farrell either side of the try adding to the visitors total.

Sale had taken the lead early in the game after Magnus Lund touched down for a five-pointer on the back of a powerful maul. Danny Cipriani also kicked a penalty in the first 40 for Sale.

Saracens returned the favour early in the second half as Billy Vunipola crashed over after a strong lineout drive from Saracens. However, missed conversions after both of Saracens tries kept Sale alive.

And that hope blossmed into their second try after an hour, with Russian second row Andrei Ostrikov galloping past the tackle of Mako Vunipola to score.

However, Nick MacLeod missed the resulting conversion badly, allowing Saracens’ to hold onto a slender lead.

Owen Farrell fattened the lead to four with another penalty, and Sarries were able to hold off a late onslaught on their own line to come away with the win.

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