A Danny Cipriani masterclass helped Sale Sharks on their way to an impressive victory over Leicester Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium on Easter Sunday.
Cipriani opened the scoring for Sale through an early penalty, although Freddie Burns hit back with one of his own minutes later.
After fantastically breaking the Tigers’ line, Wasps-bound Cipriani set up the day’s opening try, with flanker Cameron Nield eventually powering over for the home side. The architect of score, Cipriani, converted.
Leicester fly-half Burns was forced off the field after the 20 minute mark, and with the kicking responsibilities then going to Owen Williams, the centre knocked over a penalty soon after.
The Tigers’ joy was short-lived though, as in-form Sale winger Nev Edwards was gifted a try after a fortunate bounce of the ball sent Sharks clean through. Cipriani kept his 100% record from the tee.
The away side replied with a try just before half-time, via full-back Tommy Bell. Williams converted to send the teams in at the interval with Sale in the lead by 17 points to 13.
Cipriani struck another penalty over the posts three minutes into the second period, but what happened next though was purely bizarre. The game was temporarily called off by referee Tom Foley after 53 minutes due to lightening striking down on the stadium. Thankfully, after a 10 minute break, the game resumed.
With the game back underway, Leicester got themselves back into the match when Vereniki Goneva crossed the line after 67 minutes, and with the conversation, Williams levelled proceedings.
Sale hit back straight away though, to this dismay of Richard Cockerill. Cipriani found a gap in the Leicester defence, and wriggled through to cross the line. He added the two points to top off a wonderful performance.
The Sharks saw out the game to seal a valuable triumph over play-off hopefuls, Leicester.
Sale: Tries – Neild, Edwards, Cipriani. Con – Cipriani (3). Pen – Cipriani (2)
Leicester: Tries – Bell, Goneva. Con – Williams (2). Pen – Burns (1), Williams (1)