MATCH REPORT: Rosslyn Park vs Sale FC

ROSSLYN PARK 41-19 SALE FC

SATURDAY 23 MARCH 2024

By RHYS STRATTON

The 1st XV ran in seven tries at The Rock on Saturday in a dominant win over Sale FC.

The 1st XV came flying out of the blocks from kickoff and ran in the opening try within just 2 minutes. After a series of dynamic carries pushed Sale back, Charlie Walker spotted a gap in the scramble defence and darted through it to cross over under the posts. Josh Pieterse looked to have doubled the lead 10 minutes later as the front rower hacked the ball on over the Sale line and looked to be the first one to it, however a Sale hand was deemed to have got there first by the referee. Following the restart, the visitors got a score against the run of play as they went nearly the length of the pitch and levelled the score through Fergus Mulchrone.

After a penalty won by the pack at scrum time, a kick into the corner saw a powerful driving maul set up which Isaac Miller rode over the line to retake the lead. Joe Luca Smith then extended it just minutes later as he shot out of the defensive line on his own 22 and reeled in an interception before the fullback showed off his gas to outrace everyone and touch down. As time was winding down it the half, Sale narrowed the lead to a single score when Nathan Langdon crossed over following a maul.

In the second half, yet another penalty at the scrum meant the 1st XV could head to the corner and set up another maul. However, this time they elected to go wide from the lineout and a bit of class from Luc Smith saw the outside half weight a lovely cross-field kick over to winger Benji Marfo who outleapt his opposite number to gather and dot down. Smith then had a hand in the next score 10 minutes later as it was his break and subsequent kick through that pressured Sale into carrying the ball across their own line, resulting in a 5m attacking scrum. From the scrum, Pieterse got the try he was denied in the first half as he powered his way over the line from a pick-and-go.

Sale pulled one back towards the end through Edward Stagg, but the 1st XV finished the match in emphatic fashion as both Arthur Ellis and Jasper Cameron crossed over within the space of a few minutes. First, Ellis finished off a slick passage of play as the skipper got on the end of a beautiful offload, fended off the closest defender and beat the Sale cover defence to the line. Then, after Sale’s Richard Stout was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, Jasper Cameron steered another powerful Park maul over the visitor’s line to punctuate the dominant victory.

Referee: Matthew Sharpe

ROSSLYN PARK

Tries: Walker (2’), Miller (19’), J. Smith (25’), Marfo (45’), Pieterse (57’), Ellis (74’), Cameron (78’)
Conversions: L. Smith (3’, 20’, 74’)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: N/A

Team: Pieterse, Miller, Hay, Stevenson, Gillanders, Hosking, Ellis, Bolwell, Fenley, L. Smith, Marfo, Gordon, Stanton, Walker, J. Smith

Replacements: Cameron, Wade, Spencer, Wrafter, Glover

SALE

Tries: Mulchrone (14’), Langdon (36’), Stagg (71’)
Conversions: Robins (15’, 72)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: Stout (77’)

Team: Carlile, Langdon, Ford, Gray, Barron, Hughes, Brown, Priestley-Nangle
Bradley, Parkin, Walsh, Robins, Mulchrone, Hirskyj-Douglas, Brady

Replacements: Stagg, Stout, Burrow, Hitchen, Street

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Birmingham Moseley 3 – 20 Plymouth Albion
Bishop’s Stortford 39 – 12 Leicester Lions
Rams 33 – 25 Blackheath
Richmond 16 – 41 Chinnor
Sedgley Park 30 – 25 Cinderford
Taunton Titans 22 – 20 Darlington Mowden Park

This week in National One saw Stortford, Rams, Sedgley and Taunton all join Park in securing home victories whilst Chinnor and Plymouth both secured important away wins, with the latter’s result against Moseley meaning Park now lead the Midlands outfit by 6 points in the race for 3rd place.

Up Next for Park is a trip to the Forest of Dean to take on 13th placed Cinderford following a break for Easter weekend.