Sharks boss Steve Diamond hailed the performance of Welsh wizard Dwayne Peel as his side overcame London Irish on Friday night.
Sale director of rugby Diamond quipped that Wales must have good scrum-halves or poor selectors after an incredible performance from Peel, left out of his country’s World Cup squad, inspired his side to a 30-29 home victory over London Irish.
Prop forward Henry Thomas opened the scoring for Sale in the fourth minute when an instinctive pass from Peel found full-back Rob Miller at pace. Miller skipped past a couple of defenders and fed inside to prop Thomas who crossed over to put the Sharks on the board.
Fly-half Nick MacLeod added the extras with the aid of the upright.
Irish got off the mark in the 13th minute through a Tom Homer penalty and soon found themselves in front when hooker David Paice crept over the line following a clever line-out move from the Irish forwards. Homer added the conversion.
The Irish lead was short-lived however as Nick Kennedy’s fumble from the re-start gifted English Saxon James Gaskell the opportunity to display his pace. Gaskell touched down from outside the Irish “22 and left MacLeod with a straightforward conversion.
The clinical boot of Homer brought the Irish back within a point of the Sharks lead following a penalty but his counterpart MacLeod responded in similar fashion to keep the Sharks ahead 17-13.
Irish went ahead on the 29th minute as a result of a Jonathan Joseph try. Fly-half Dan Bowden released the young centre who burst through the Sharks defence and scored in the left corner.
Homer converted Joseph’s try and an exchange of penalties from Homer and MacLeod left the half-time score as Sharks 20 Irish 23.
Irish started the second half strongly and stretched their lead on the 50 minute mark through a Homer penalty.
The game turned to Sale’s favour on the 58th minute when the majestic Peel collected possession in the Irish 22” and carved his way through to earn a well deserved try. Rob Miller added the tricky conversion followed up by a penalty to put the sharks in the driving seat at 30-26.
Irish’s desire to secure a bonus point forced them to opt for the posts when they were awarded a 78th minute penalty. A brief moment of nerves for the Edgeley Park faithful soon came to an end when Peel kicked the ball out of play and the Shark’s recorded their first win of the season.
Try scorers: Thomas, Peel, Gaskell
Pens: Miller, MacLeod 2
Cons: MacLeod 3
London Irish 29
Try Scorers: Joseph, Paice
Pens: Homer 5
Cons: Homer 2