Six months late, but the first silverware of the 2019/20 English season has been claimed. Sale Sharks won the Premiership Rugby Cup final, beating Harlequins 27-19.
Sale Sharks win Premiership Rugby Cup Final
The game ignited after a yellow card for Harlequins’ Stephan Lewies, with Sale scoring ten points during the sin-bin period. Hooker Curtis Langdon claimed a try, with Rob du Preez scoring the conversion and a penalty.
Curtis Langdon opens for scoring for Sale 🦈
A really nice try with the 23-year-old threatening early doors in this final… pic.twitter.com/2nIYUn1j4N
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) September 21, 2020
Harlequins hit back with two Marcus Smith penalties before James Chisholm went over to give the visitors the lead. Another Smith penalty before half time made the score 16-10 at half time.
Strong lineups produce tight contest
Thanks to the one-off expansion of the Champions Cup, both sides have already qualified for top flight European rugby next season, and Sale are in a good position for a top four finish. In addition, this match was played outside of international window, not as originally intended. Therefore, we saw perhaps much stronger line-ups than we may have done back in March.
As a result, it was much more of a standard, cagey Premiership match. Sale’s confidence appeared to have taken a knock after their recent, comprehensive defeat to play-off rivals Bath. An early second half penalty from Smith created a solid nine point lead. The Sharks eventually hauled themselves back into the game with a try from Dan du Preez, with his brother Rob kicking the conversion for a nail-biting finish.
The comeback was completed in the 74th minute when du Preez added another penalty. Sale were able to regain territory, and with another penalty advantage, Faf de Klerk made sure of the trophy with a try in the left-hand corner.
No fitting send-off for Chris Robshaw
Having extended his time at The Stoop to see out the season, Chris Robshaw was hoping to head to San Diego Legion with another medal. Whilst this is no longer the prominent domestic cup it once was, a Premiership Rugby Cup Final win at the opposition’s home ground would still have been a notable achievement.
Quins now have two Premiership matches to secure sixth place, and tier three seeding for the Champions Cup. For Sale, they sit in fourth but only two points from a home semi-final. They will hope their season will continue for a few weeks to come.
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images