The scramble for 4th continues as Sale remain glued to the bottom


Another weekend of the Aviva Premiership brings another week of impending doom for Sale fans, rising optimism for Wasps fans, and the sense of familiarity and routine for Leicester fans.

We start with Wasps, they came from behind against Bath after Nick Abendanon scored a dazzling try to give the away side the lead after just 25 seconds. A further try saw Bath stretch their lead but from then on it was all Wasps.

They missed out on the bonus point though, winning 29-15 but still move into fourth after a remarkable turnaround from last seasons dismal showing and a poor early part of this season.

That they are now sitting in fourth owes much to their home form, they are yet to lose at Adams Park this season, and the development of this young pack. It will be interesting to see how many appear in Stuart Lancaster’s Elite and Saxons squads on Wednesday.

The weekend all began on Friday night though, where Leicester battled to a hard fought win against Worcester at Sixways. At 19-14 it may not have been pretty but it is enough to keep Leicester within three points of Harlequins at the top of the table, and safely within the top four.

For others though it is all about staying in touching distance of the top four while they search for their form, and that was exactly the case for Northampton as they travelled to Exeter under serious pressure after some heavy criticism of their form.

It you are in search of a much needed win, Sandy Park would hardly be your first choice as a destination. However fifteen points from the boot of Stephen Myler and three tries showed that destination is no problem for this Northampton side. It was a welcome return to form for the Saints and a 30-19 win was good enough to move them into the top four, albeit briefly.

Safe from such worries though are Harlequins who still sit at the top of the table after an exciting 31-26 away at London Welsh. Connor O’Shea was furious with referee Llyr ApGeraint-Roberts after the game, describing him as ‘out of his depth’, in a tirade that may earn a sanction, but he could not fault his players’ display.

For London Welsh it was another welcome bonus point as they stretched the gap from themselves to Sale at the foot of the table to ten points.

Sale themselves went down 32-12 against Saracens in a game that will be remembered mostly for being Saracens last Premiership game at Vicarage Road before their move to their new home, Allianz Park.

22 points from the boot of Owen Farrell will have pleased both Saracens and England management, though news of injury to Alex Goode will have offset any such pleasure for both, it is expected to be short term though.

For Sale, defeat against Saracens was not the low point of the weekend, they were never expected to win, news of London Irish winning 18-12 away at Gloucester though was certainly a surprise and really was a low point for the Sale fans in a week of low points, a season of low points really.

That victory stretched Irish’s points margin over Sale at the foot of the table to five, giving life without Shaun Edwards a surprising kick start. For Gloucester it was a defeat that saw them slip from fourth to sixth by the end of the weekend.

Next week it is back to the Heineken Cup, with the Aviva premiership resuming on the 9th February.

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