Premiership Rugby

LIVE UPDATES From The Gallagher Premiership: Sale Sharks Vs. Bristol Bears

LIVE UPDATES From The Gallagher Premiership: Sale Sharks Vs. Bristol Bears

Check out these live updates from the Gallagher Premiership match between the Bristol Bears and Sale Sharks in Manchester, England.

Jan 5, 2024 by Philip Bendon
LIVE UPDATES From The Gallagher Premiership: Sale Sharks Vs. Bristol Bears

In a highly anticipated Friday-night clash at Salford Stadium, the Sale Sharks are gearing up to get back to their winning ways, as they face off against the Bristol Bears. 

Eager to bounce back from a recent loss to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby-leading Northampton Saints in Round 10, the Sharks have strategically made just one change, introducing Rekeiti Ma’asi-White for his debut in the midfield. 

This move sees Rob du Preez shifting to fly-half, seamlessly filling the void left by the injured George Ford. 

On the other side, the Bristol Bears are not holding back, implementing significant changes with AJ MacGinty's return against his former club and James Williams stepping into the midfield for the injured Virimi Vakatawa. 

The stage is set for a thrilling showdown between these two formidable teams.

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When Is The Premiership Final?

The Gallagher Premiership final is scheduled for June 8, 2024 at Twickenham Stadium in London.

Who Won The Gallagher Premiership In 2023?

Saracens defeated the Sale Sharks 35-25 at Twickenham Stadium in London to claim its title.

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Team Lineups

Sale Sharks: 15. Joe Carpenter , 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, 11. Arron Reed, 10.Rob du Preez, 9. Gus Warr 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Ernst van Rhyn, 7. Ben Curry ©, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez. 

Replacements: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Tumy Onasanya, 18. James Harper, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Nye Thomas, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Telusa Veainu. 

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins, 14 Noah Heward, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 James Williams, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Harry Randall, 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Joe Batley, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Magnus Bradbury. 

Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Sam Grahamslaw, 18 George Kloska, 19 Joe Owen, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 23 Rich Lane.

Match Updates

*Update - Josh Beaumont has come in for Cobus Wiese, who has pulled up late with an injury, while Max Lahiff has come in at loosehead for Jake Woolmore as a late change for Bristol*

Min 0: Sale gets us underway here, and they quickly regain possession, before Gus Warr kicks straight into touch to give the Bears a line-out.

Min 2: Like two heavyweight boxers, the two sides are feeling each other with some clever kicks and plenty of kick-chase pressure.

Min 3: Bristol makes a great breakthrough with James Williams, but Sale comes up with a big turnover penalty.

Min 6: TRY! Harry Randall sneaks over for Bristol following a powerful midfield break from Williams. USA Eagle AJ MacGinty converts. SAL 0 - BRI 7.

Min 10: It has been one-way traffic in the opening 10 minutes here, with Bristol hammering away at the Sale defense. Noah Heward made a brilliant break down the right-hand touchline, before MacGinty goes with a cross-field kick, which almost turned into a Sale try, as Tom Roebuck plucked the ball from the air.

Min 12: Penalty to Sale, as Max Lahiff clears out Ben Curry illegally, which immediately releases the pressure on the Sharks.

Min 18: TRY! Bristol get its second try, as Gabriel Ibitoye runs it in from 40 meters out! A brilliant score from the winger, and MacGinty adds the extras. SAL 0 - BRI 14.

Min 21: Penalty,! Sale gets a genuine attacking attempt here, as the Sharks kick to the corner. Again, it is Lahiff concerning the penalty at the ruck.

Min 23: A real mistake from Jonny Hill, who pops the ball between his legs, just as the Sharks are on Bristol's line. The ball goes through the Bristol hands to Malins, who kicks long downfield and puts the pressure back on the hosts.

Min 27: Penalty to Sale, which once again kicks for touch; Luke Cown-Dickie finds Jonny Hill, and the Sharks launch a maul attack.

Min 28: A brilliant turnover from Bristol, and Ibitoye completes a brilliant kick for touch.

Min 30: TRY! The Sharks get their first score of the evening! Jonny Hill pounces, as Randall is charged down by Hill, who runs in untouched. Randall looks to have pulled his hamstring in the process. Rob Du Preez adds the extra two points. SAL 7 - BRI 14.

Min 37: NO TRY! Max Malins saves a certain try as he knocks Joe Carpenter into touch. The Bears will breathe a sigh of relief there.

Min 39: Jean-Luc Du Preez hobbles off in a worrying blow for the Sharks.

Min 40: One more shot here for Sharks, as Bristol knocks-on 15 meters out from its own line.

MIn 40: Penalty! That is a big scrum for the Bears, who win the penalty and kick the ball to touch and head for the break with a seven-point lead.

Min 40: AJ MacGinty gets the action back underway, and Sale drops it cold to set up an early Bristol scrum.

Min 41: TRY! Bristol gets its third try, as Max Malins scoots away following some sublime interplay by the Bristol players. MacGinty missed the kick from the touchline - SAL 7 - BRI 19.

Min 43: Penalty to Bristol, and MacGinty goes for touch to set up another strong attacking position.

Min 44: Sale defuses the Bears' attack and wins a penalty of its own to clear their lines.

Min 46: Du Preez kicks too long and hands a midfield scrum to Bristol.

Min 47: Lahiff concedes another penalty, as he goes straight down in the scrum, and Du Preez finds a brilliant touch just 5 meters out from the Bristol line for an attacking line-out.

Min 49: Another error from Sale as they knock on, and Bristol are off the hook again.

Min 53: Penalty again to Bristol; the Sharks cannot get a foothold in this match.

Min 60: Yet another scrum reset, and Bristol gets the ball out quickly, but the Sharks scoop up the ball and get on the offensive immediately.

Min 62: Penalty to Sale! This has been the best passage of play from the hosts, who are hammering away at the Bear's line. 

Min 63: The Sharks get impatient, and Malins gets into the passing channels to end the Sharks' attack. 

Min 65: Penalty to the Sharks; the Bristol defensive set has been immense so far. 

Min 66: TRY! Argentinean legend Augustin Creevy burrows over from the driving maul and gets underneath three Bristol defenders to get the hosts back into the contest. Du Preez slices through the uprights, and Sale is within five points. SAL 14 - BRI 19.

Min 70: Penalty to Bristol as Ibitoye is flipped and dumped by Telusa Veainu, and it is a yellow card to the Sharks replacement. YELLOW CARD!

Min 71: MacGinty sets up an attacking line-out for Bristol, this is a huge swing in momentum, as the hosts appeared to be gathering steam but are now a man down and defending.

Min 72: YELLOW CARD! The Sharks have a second man sent off, as Ben Bamber is given his marching orders. MacGinty goes for posts to all but seal the win. SAL 14 - BRI 22.

Min 75: A disastrous missed kick from Du Preez, and that seems to have firmly killed off the Sharks comeback.

Min 77: Penalty to the Bears, and they will go for touch to chase the fourth try bonus point.

Min 78: A forward pass ends a promising attack for Bristol; this has been the tale of the half, as the two sides have been resolute in defense but not created too much with ball in hand.

Min 80: FULL-TIME! Bristol ended the Sharks proud home record; Sanderson's side had won 12 in a row dating back to October 2022. 

This is a huge step forward for the Bears in their bid to get back into the playoff race. For the Sharks, this was a flat performance and a concerning showing ahead of two brutally tough Investec Champions Cup clashes against the DHL Stormers and La Rochelle.

Bristol center Bernhard Janse van Rensburg has been named Gallagher Premiership Player of the Match following a powerful showing from the South African.