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Summary

  1. Tom Homer with four penalties for Bath
  2. Sale's response from the boot of Danny Cipriani
  3. Bath up to second with victory
  4. Sharks remain seventh, eight points adrift of Bath

Live Reporting

By Brendon Mitchell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

But hold on, we still have five Premiership fixtures to work our way through this weekend yet! And you can listen to live radio coverage of each of them right here too.

Thanks for joining us this evening, it was far from a classic but Bath are back up to second as the race for the play-offs remains as open as ever.

Goodnight.

The Six Nations is returning...

Ireland
Getty Images

The Six Nations has, of course, remained at the back of our minds throughout this evening and it's worth pointing you in the direction of our extensive coverage of the next round of fixtures.

As always, you'll be able to watch, listen and read about all the action in each of next weekend's three matches right here on the BBC Sport website:

Wales v Ireland (Saturday, 14 March, 14:30 GMT)

England v Scotland (Saturday, 14 March, 17:00 GMT)

Italy v France (Sunday, 15 March, 15:00 GMT)

A quick recap

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Sam Burgess
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Bath ended a run of three successive Premiership defeats to move up to second in the table by beating Sale Sharks at The Rec.

A tight game short on expansive rugby was settled by the boot, with Bath's Tom Homer kicking four penalties to Danny Cipriani's one for the Sharks.

Mike Ford's side have jumped above Saracens, Exeter Chiefs and Wasps in the standings but all three could overhaul them with weekend victories.

Sale remain seventh, five points from the play-off positions.

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath head coach Mike Ford told BT Sport: "Sale are a tough side to beat. Mike Forshaw, their defence coach, has done a fantastic job for them for the last couple of years.

"The way they compete at the breakdown, they're a tough side. They've got the ability to put you under pressure and nick games like they did against us last year."

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath head coach Mike Ford told BT Sport: "After three defeats in a row we just needed to get back on the horse.

"I thought our defence was outstanding and they never really looked like scoring. I think the wind helped us in that second half, and Ollie Devoto and Kyle Eastmond kept the ball in the right areas."

Get involved #bbcrugby

Bath v Sale
BBC

Where do you think that game was won and lost? I reckon that statistic above is as telling as any, but you can still have your say using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

Vote

Courtney Lawes
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It might not have escaped your attention that the results of our vote is now in - and Northampton's Courtney Lawes has come out on top with a whopping 39.9%.

Danny Cipriani, on the losing side tonight, picked up 21.7% of the vote and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care was the best of the rest with 8.9%.

We were asking which England player you thought should be recalled for the Six Nations match against Scotland next weekend.

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Carl Fearns on BT Sport talking about Bath's home semi-final play-off hopes: "I don't think we're looking that far ahead. We're just looking at every game as it comes and improving. This last run has been tough but we've learned a lot about ourselves and kept going for each other."

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath's man of the match Carl Fearns told BT Sport: "Defensively we felt quite safe. It was just about keeping our discipline spot on and not give them any easy outs, and then it will come for us.

"We want to keep hold of the ball because when we get into shape we're deadly with the likes of Kyle Eastmond at the lime and Sam Burgess on the short balls. It's all about working hard and then we can cut people to shreds."

FT: Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath's man of the match Carl Fearns told BT Sport: "The past three weeks we haven't had the results we wanted. But credit to the boys, we didn't doubt ourselves, worked hard for each other. We can put the Premiership to bed for a couple of weeks now, rest up and come back ready."

Tom Bradshaw, BBC Sport at The Rec

"After a winless February, that victory - as ugly as it was - puts Bath back on track for a top-four finish. And once the cavalry arrives back from the Six Nations, they will fancy their chances of securing a home semi-final.

"Not for the first time this season, Bath's scrummage laid the platform for a win. It was consistently strong all night, which was vital given Sale's attempts to grind the game down at close quarters.

"Sale rather ran out of puff after having to deliver an almost ceaseless flow of tackles in the opening hour."

Full-time

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

But after a bit of huffing and puffing, Micky Young decides enough is quite enough and boots the ball out of play. The job is done for Bath, but it's been far from vintage.

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath have the ball six or seven metres from the Sale line. Will we get a try at long last? They're certainly trying for it...

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

A sixth penalty conceded at scrum time by Sale - their 15th given away in total - hands the Blue, Black and Whites an opportunity to get themselves one final score.

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Brilliant choke tackle from Matt Banahan has TJ Ioane in all sorts of trouble and it'll be a scrum. This game is all but won for Bath - but it also won't do them any harm if they can prevent Sale getting that losing bonus point.

David Wilson

Bath and England prop on BBC Radio Bristol

"It's just getting a bit tight and hot down there. Sale won't be very happy, they just missed the chance to score a try. Time is ticking down and they will just be trying to get a bit of retaliation and hope to get a penalty, but it didn't go their way."

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

They win themselves a penalty too, which Danny Cipriani sends to touch. But Bath manage to resist the rolling maul on this occasion and it all breaks down for the visitors.

Now, a bit of handbags follow. What's this all about?

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Bath v Sale
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Now here Steve Diamond's men come on the attack. We're into the final 10 minutes, so if they're going to bag themselves more than just a losing bonus point you'd have thought they need to get something on the board from this attack...

Vote

A quick heads up that our vote has now closed. We'll bring you the results after full-time.

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Here comes the rolling maul, Bath are just five metres from the line now, knocking on the door harder than they have done all night - but that's fantastic counter-rucking from Sale and they have a penalty! They just will not go away!

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

Tom's exactly right, Bath do look in decent shape here. Another infringement from Sale, another line-out inside their 22, another opportunity for the home side to kill this match once and for all.

Tom Bradshaw

BBC Sport at The Rec

"Bath are starting to look more dangerous when they have the ball and that's partly down to the energy that scrum-half Micky Young has brought to the game since he came on in the 48th minute.

"He made a telling break down the right in the lead up to Homer's last penalty and is doing a good job of harrying the Sale back three. "

Penalty (Homer)

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks

And it's very nicely done too. A fair bit of bottle was required there. It's now Tom Homer 12-3 Danny Cipriani.

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

Bath have a scrum around five metres in from the touchline and it's a fantastic push from their pack, forcing Sale to give away yet another penalty.

Go for the corner or go for the posts? Credit to Tom Homer, he's backing himself...

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

Bath v Sale
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In amongst all the missed penalties from Tom Homer, this has been a robust defensive effort from Sale, who've now made 113 tackles to Bath's 51.

They're still only a score away from stealing this.

Vote

One final reminder that you have just under 10 minutes left to tell us which England player you'd like to see recalled for the match against Scotland in the Six Nations next weekend.

The vote, which you can find on the right-hand side of the page (desktop) or via the tab at the top (mobile and tablet), will close at 21:15 GMT and you can

click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

Missed penalty (Homer)

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

This hasn't been a great evening for Tom Homer, who once again misses from the tee. He's left a lot of points out there, has the former London Irish full-back.

David Wilson

Bath and England prop on BBC Radio Bristol

Sam Burgess
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"Union's a completely different game to league. Kyle Eastmond was here a year until he started playing well after he converted from league, and look at him now, he's world class.

"Sam's a good specimen with good traits, and that's what we're trying to work on with him."

Replacement

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

They clear their lines momentarily, but Bath are on the charge once more. Sam Burgess makes some good ground and forces Sale to infringe, so Tom Homer has a penalty.

That was Burgess's last piece of action too, by the way, as he's replaced by the returning Matt Banahan.

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

That's absolutely exquisite from Bath fly-half Ollie Devoto, who kicks a lovely grubber through and out of play around 15 metres from the Sale line. With the wind on the home side's backs, this could be a tricky one for Sharks.

Penalty (Homer)

Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks

And the pressure tells, with Sale conceding another penalty - they're into double figures on that front now - and Tom Homer has an opportunity from the tee.

An opportunity he doesn't waste, either. Bath 9-3 Sale Sharks.

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

That's lovely from Bath scrum-half Micky Young, on as a replacement for Chris Cook, throwing a dummy on halfway and beating a couple of tackles. Now here comes Semesa Rokoduguni on the charge - at last The Rec crowd find their voice once more.

Get involved #bbcrugby

We've been asking you which England player would you most like to see recalled to face Scotland in the Six Nations next weekend.

Mark Lyall: Tricky to choose between Courtney Lawes and Mike Brown

Marc: Like to see @DannyCipriani87 start

Dean Ralph: Lawes and Tom Wood

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

An excellent kick from Olly Woodburn pins Sale back deep inside their own half, though they do at least have the throw at the line-out.

A bit of afters breaks out off the ball too, with referee Wayne Barnes right in the middle, to which he rather amusingly quips "Let go, I don't want to get involved lads".

Whoever came up with the idea of giving referees a microphone deserves a warm pat on the back.

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

Decent ambition from Sale, choosing to go for the corner rather than the posts. But, having secured safe ball from the line-out, Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou are penalised for crossing and Bath have a penalty. A bit of a let off for the Blue, Black and Whites was that.

David Wilson

Bath and England prop on BBC Radio Bristol

"I once kicked the ball in an England v New Zealand game and saw the whole of my career flash before my eyes. Lucky it went out and we made some metres."

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

Goodness me, that's comical from Sale prop Vadim Cobilas. The referee signals a penalty is on the way for the Sharks and the Moldovan elects to go for a drop goal right underneath the posts.

Needless to say, it's not pretty and we'll go back for the earlier infringement.

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks have started well here, going through the phases and putting the Bath defence under some real pressure. They're just five metres from the home side's line now, knocking on the door.

Kick-off

Bath 6-3 Sale Sharks

Here we go then. Wayne Barnes puffs his whistle and Tom Homer kicks long... Very long... Too long, in fact. And we're going to have a scrum on the half-way line.

You don't see that too often.

Let's play darts

While the action on the field hasn't been all that exciting, David Wilson has been telling BBC Radio Bristol what life is like in the England camp when they are trying to keep themselves entertained.

Bath prop Wilson is currently out with a neck injury, but when he is involved in Stuart Lancaster's squad, he says darts is one of the many activities the players get up to.

The best player? Ben Morgan. Who would have thought it?