Portugal Colonial - Sanderson elated as Sale beat leaders Leicester

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Sanderson elated as Sale beat leaders Leicester
Sanderson elated as Sale beat leaders Leicester

Sanderson elated as Sale beat leaders Leicester

Sale supremo Alex Sanderson said he hoped Sunday's stunning comeback 35-26 win over league leaders Leicester would prove the catalyst for a repeat of last season's run to the English Premiership play-offs.

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The northwest side were all but beaten at 21-5 behind early in the second half.

Sale, however, then ran in four tries in half an hour through Ben Curry, Arron Reed, Dan du Preez and Tom Roebuck to turn the tide, albeit in a match where both sides were under-strength due to international call-ups ahead of next weekend's start of the Six Nations.

A five-point win saw ninth-placed Sale move to within 14 points of the top four that will contest the title-deciding play-offs following the end of the regular season.

And having seen Sale reach last term's play-off on the back of an eight-game winning streak, director of rugby Sanderson said his side had it in them to do something similar in the current campaign.

"That was a fantastic game from the lads, and what a dramatic turnaround," said Sanderson.

"Something was clearly missing in that first half in terms of intensity and putting the pressure on, but we definitely finished the game strongly and got a terrific result.

"All of the credit has to go to the players -- they deserve that...We won eight games on the bounce last year, so we know we've got that in us.

"After that it's all about the belief."

Argentina captain Julian Montoya crossed twice for Leicester, with the Tigers deprived of several England players, including fly-half George Ford.

Freddie Burns, in for Ford at No 10, played well but went off just as Sale launched their fightback.

Despite this defeat, Leicester boss Steve Borthwick was proud of the way a youthful Tigers side performed.

"I thought the effort from all of my players was magnificent throughout," said former England captain Borthwick. "The result hasn't gone our way, obviously, but we'll go away and learn from it."

Sunday's other match in England's top-flight saw Wasps enjoy a fourth successive home win as they defeated Saracens 26-20.

The visitors outscored Coventry-based Wasps three tries to one but 16 points from the boot of Jimmy Gopperth proving the difference.

Saracens remained second, seven points behind Leicester, while Wasps are eighth in a 13-team Premiership where there is no relegation this season in order to give clubs greater certainty over their futures following the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.