Tom Curry scores for Sale
Tom Curry’s try for Sale was his first for the club in more than two years
Bath: (6) 20
Tries: Cokanasiga, De Glanville Cons: Francis 2 Pens: Francis 2
Sale: (23) 37
Tries: O’Flaherty, van der Merwe, T Curry, Ross Cons: R du Preez 4 Pens: R du Preez 3

Sale got a 37-20 win at Bath, despite playing most of the game with 14 men.

The Sharks scored early through Tom O’Flaherty before having Nick Schonert sent off for a ninth-minute hit to the head of Dave Attwood.

However, Sale led 23-6 at the break as Akker van der Merwe crossed, while Rob du Preez added three penalties.

Joe Cokanasiga went over for Bath soon after the break, but Tom Curry replied before a Tom de Glanville try for the hosts was cancelled out by Jono Ross.

The win was Sale’s second bonus-point victory in two games, while new Bath boss Johann van Graan will be unhappy with the way they lost for the second successive week having had a numerical advantage for 71 minutes.

O’Flaherty’s second try in as many games since his summer move from Exeter gave Sale a great start, but it seemed as though they would struggle after Schonert’s early red.

A Piers Francis penalty for Bath was sandwiched between two for Du Preez before South Africa hooker Van der Merwe smashed over and Du Preez added a third three-pointer.

Bath looked to be re-energised after the break when Cokanasiga ended a nice team move, but replacement Curry needed just one minute on the field to restore Sale’s advantage as he eased over after a pass from O’Flaherty.

Sale went down to 13 men when Ross Harrison was sin-binned after five successive scrum penalties close to their line, but the Sharks held out for seven minutes with two men down until De Glanville ended a fine move that began with Jonathan Joseph’s break before a pass from Cokanasiga.

But it was Sale who finished the game with a bonus point as Ross found himself on the back of a 78th-minute maul to put Sale top of the early Premiership table.

Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan told BBC Radio Bristol:

“The first 40 [minutes] was not good enough.

“We played against a team that are defensively very good, we did try and play a bit more, but unfortunately made too many errors.

“We did stretch them at stages, we moved the ball at stages, but we couldn’t hold on to it.”

Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson:

“They responded and they didn’t kick stones, which you can do after an event (the red card) like that.

“They managed it very well physically, played in the right areas and came alive in attack and showed the endeavour they have shown in the last couple of weeks.

“It is another performance worthy of all the work they have done in pre-season. That is what I am most happy about, that is what I am chuffed about.”

Bath: de Glanville; Cokanasiga, Joseph, Redpath, Muir; Francis, B Spencer; Boyce, Dunn, A Coetzee, Attwood, McNally, Bayliss, White, J Coetzee.

Replacements: Doughty, Schoeman, Stuart, W Spencer, van Velze, Schreuder, Bailey, de Carpentier.

Sale: L. James; Roebuck, S James, Tuilagi, O’Flaherty; R Du Preez, Warr; McIntyre, van der Merwe, Schonert, Wiese, J Hill, du Preez, B Curry, D Du Preez.

Replacements: Ashman, Harrison, Harper, Ross, T Curry, Simpson, Curtis, Reed.

Referee: Christophe Ridley

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