Sale Sharks lift the Premiership Rugby Cup! | Match Report, Exclusive interviews & more!

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Sale Sharks lifted their first trophy since 2006 after a dramatic win against Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Cup final, with Morson in attendance providing exclusive coverage on a historic night!

Match Report

Harlequins had an opportunity to take an early lead, as the Sharks conceded a penalty in the opening minute and Marcus Smith sent for the tee. Smith’s kick steered wide and the Sharks looked to immediately get on the attack through Sam James’ kick in to touch in the Quins 22.

The following minutes saw the home side press towards the try-line with a series of mauls and it soon paid off, as Curtis Langdon drove over for the opening try of the night. Rob du Preez added the extras and then a further three points from the tee moments later with a penalty.

Marcus Smith made amends for his earlier miss with two successful penalty kicks in the space of three minutes, as the away side reduced the deficit to four points after 23 minutes of play.

The home side was forced to work hard in defence as Quins pressed for their first try of the night and James Chrisholm eventually got over. Marcus Smith added the three points, as the away side led five minutes from half-time. The Sharks were penalised again right before the break, and Smith extended his sides’ lead to six points.

Marcus Smith began the second half in the same way he finished the first, adding another three points after Sale conceded a penalty for offside.

The intensity of the final continued to heighten, as Dan du Preez finally got the Sharks back in the game when he crashed over in the 67th minute whilst his brother, Rob added the extras. This reduced the gap between the two sides to only two points heading into a massive final ten minutes.

The momentum of the game continued to sway in Sale’s favour at the most crucial time, as Faf was taken out at the base of a ruck and Quins conceded a penalty. Rob was good for the three points and the Sharks had a one-point lead setting up a nail-biting remaining five minutes.

A late try from Faf de Klerk sealed the victory and the Premiership Rugby Cup, in what turned out to be a huge night for the club.


Exclusive post-match interviews:

With a historic first trophy in 14 years for the club, Faf is hoping that securing the Premiership Rugby Cup will serve as a catalyst for further success in terms of silverware for the Sharks:

“The Club’s been in a few finals and never managed to win one, so to finally get that monkey off our back gives us a lot of confidence going forward. Hopefully in the future there will be a lot more (trophies), it’s going to take a lot of hard work but I think we’ve got it in us”

Steve Diamond acknowledged that even though the performance wasn’t perfect, the strength of character in his side proved to be the difference heading into the final minutes:  

“I thought that we played well in the first 20 and last 20, the middle bit wasn’t so clever, but I thought the lads showed some real resilience and grit to stay in the fight. Rob du Preez kicked magnificently to take it eight points away at the very last minute”

Morson C.E.O and Sale Sharks owner, Ged Mason also shared his elation with a first trophy since taking over in 2016 alongside Simon Orange:

“It’s a fantastic result for the lads, I’m so chuffed. They did it the hard way, ten up in the first 20 minutes and fair play to Harlequins they grounded it out and got the edge on us at half-time, but it was tremendous how the Sale boys fought back. In the end it was a very exciting game”  

Next up for Sale is a trip to Northampton Saints on Tuesday 29th September, with a win being absolutely vital in their pursuit of a top-four spot.

A massive congratulations to the team from everyone here at Morson and we will continue to show our support in the huge remaining fixtures ahead.