Premiership: Sale Sharks 15-15 Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle prop Rob Vickers claimed the opening try at the AJ Bell Stadium
Newcastle prop Rob Vickers claimed the opening try at the AJ Bell Stadium
Sale Sharks (12) 15
Pens: Cipriani 5
Newcastle (8) 15
Tries: Vickers, Welsh Con: Catterick Pen: Delany
Saturday's Premiership action as it happened

Newcastle earned their first points of the season as they held Sale to a draw at the AJ Bell Stadium.

But stand-off Danny Cipriani missed a chance to win it for the home side when he failed with a last-minute penalty.

The recalled Cipriani had kept the home side ahead in the game, kicking four first-half penalties before adding a further three points after the break.

But Newcastle were well worth the draw, thanks to tries in each half from props Rob Vickers and Jon Welsh.

After Mike Delany sandwiched a penalty between two early Cipriani penalties, Newcastle went in front when Vickers went over on 24 minutes.

But two more Cipriani penalties in the final five minutes of the first half restored the home side's lead by the interval.

Cipriani added a further three points to send Sale 15-8 up but, on the sort of day made for prop forwards, Welsh matched team-mate Vickers' first-half try when he crashed over 10 minutes from time, Tom Catterick adding the extras.

England number 10 Cipriani then had the chance to win it for Sale, but the wind sent his kick swirling just wide.

Newcastle's two points for the draw leaves London Irish as the only Premiership team without a point this season.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:

"Let's be honest, we should have kicked the goal at the end to win the game. We should have kicked the goal against Harlequins to win the game so we're six points off where we should be.

"With what's happening at the moment, where people want to go to so-called super clubs, we should be in the top three.

"We've got to look at that and go again. We've got to go to Gloucester, a difficult place to go on a Friday night, and get something out of it.

"We're a good team, with a good set of lads and we're better than that, which is the disappointment. They know, in no uncertain terms. if you want to be in the top four or top six you've got to win your home games."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:

"You could either say it was two points won or two points lost. Probably the latter. It was disappointing in some respects but, when you bear in mind the conditions and the fact we scored two tries, I was pleased.

"I was pleased with the enthusiasm and the commitment. Sometimes we made some judgement errors but in conditions like that you're going to.

"On the whole I was pleased with the boys, even though there were some mixed emotions. I was disappointed they didn't get the four points, but happy they got two."

"The referees have to get it right on a week-by-week basis. They don't get it right quite often and it has a massive impact on the way the game unfolds. Thankfully, Danny didn't get his kick at the end but there were three big decisions that I felt weren't right on the day."

Sale: Haley; Arscott, James, Tuitupou, Addison; Cipriani, Cusiter; Harrison, Taylor, Cobilas, Evans, Mills, Braid (capt), Lund, Ioane.

Replacements: Lewis-Roberts, Mujati, Ostrikov, Nield Stringer, Ford, Jennings, Fihaki.

Newcastle: Tait; Venditti, Powell, Socino, Watson; Delany, Young; Vickers, McGuigan, Welsh, Green, Robinson, Wilson, Welch, Latu.

Replacements: Lawson, Rogers, Vea, Botha, Hogg, Tipuna, Catterick, Harris.

Attendance: 5.400.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).

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