Sale Sharks defeat Leicester Tigers to win Guinness Premiership

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Sale Sharks defeated the Leicester Tigers in the Guinness Premiership final, claiming the team's first title of the modern competition. The game was played at a rainy Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, May 27, the final score being 45 points to 20.

Sale entered the game as the top English rugby union club after finishing atop of the 2005-06 Guinness Premiership. In addition, Leicester finished second, so it was 1st v 2nd. The scoring opened up in the 3rd minute, with fly-half Charlie Hodgson land a penalty kick for the Sharks, scoring continued for the Sharks a few minutes later when Mark Cueto scored the opening try of the match.

Leicester hit back in the 9th minute with flanker Lewis Moody scoring the team's first try, with Andy Goode converting the try, the score was now a lot closer, ten minutes into the game. Moody's try was followed by a period of no scoring, until Magnus Lund scored a try for the Sharks in the 17th minute to extend Sale's lead. More points came for the Sharks over 10 minutes later, with Hodgson kicking another penalty goal in the 31st minute.

Leicester also got a penalty shortly after Hodgson kicked Sale's, Goode was successful in kicking the penalty goal for Leiceter in the 36th minute. Sale hit back in the closing moments of the first half, with Oriol Ripol Fortuny scoring a try, which was converted by Hodgson. Sale went into halftime leading Leicester 23 points to 10.

Penalty kicks were exchanged in the early stages of the second half, with Leicester's Goode kicking one in the 43rd minute, with Hodgson kicking one in the 45th minute for the Sharks. Hodgson got another penalty goal in the 48th minute, extending the Sharks' lead over Leicester.

In the 63rd minute, Charlie Hodgson kicked another penalty goal for Sale, furthering the lead, with less than 20 minutes left in the final. In the 70th minute, with 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Charlie Hodgson landed a drop goal. Leicester replied with a try in James Hamilton in the 74th minute, although it may have been too late, Goode converted the try. Sale got more points on the board in the 78th minute, with Hodgson landing another penalty goal. In the final moments of the game, Chris Mayor scored a try, which was converted by Valentin Courrent.