Sale joy overshadowed by major concerns for Yarde
Sale overpowered Newcastle on a wave of second-half pressure but the victory was overshadowed by a serious injury to Marland Yarde, who was taken to hospital having sustained a suspected dislocated left knee.
Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby, said: “It’s horrendous. We will see what the specialist says. The injury certainly takes the gleam off the win.”
Newcastle, who had prop Logovi’i Mulipola and scrum-half Micky Young sent to the sin-bin in the second half, were also battered and bruised, having lost Nikki Goneva and Toby Flood inside the first 22 minutes.
Goneva did not return from a head injury assessment, after trying to stop Yarde in the fourth minute, while Flood went off 18 minutes later due to a shoulder problem. To add to their woes, they lost captain Will Welch to a leg injury when Sale were in charge late on.
However, the most concern was for Yarde, who was carried off four minutes from time having been hurt in a tackle.
Sale’s second Premiership win of the season was down to a collective performance after the interval inspired by Yarde charging out of his own half. The attack, 12 minutes after the break, changed the impetus of the match following a first half which ended in Newcastle leading 7-3, thanks to a Welch try.
Yarde’s break was backed up by Sam James and the pair cut open Newcastle only for the wing to be impeded by Mulipola, who was given a yellow card.
Sale maintained the pressure and from a line-out they eventually worked a try for Jon Phillips which AJ MacGinty converted. Newcastle’s troubles had only just begun.
Sale’s pressure brought a second try, again from a lock in the shape of Bryn Evans, who had the easy task of scoring at the corner.
To finish off, Sale scored a third when Rohan van Rensburg burst through a tired defence to leave Dean Richards, Newcastle’s director of rugby, ruing a fifth defeat out of six. Richards argued his team did not get the “rub of the green” from referee Tom Foley. “We are not happy with our performance from about 30 minutes onwards. There were reasons for that in the injuries and the yellow cards in the second half.”
Thwarted: Sam James makes a break for Sale but is tackled by George McGuigan