Sharks Off The Mark

Sale have put their miserable start to the rugby union season behind them in thrilling style.

After kicking off their campaign with six straight Premiership defeats, they pulled off a dramatic fightback to beat Cardiff 34-33 in the Heineken Cup.After a two-year break, the Sharks were back in Europe's premier competition and looked a bit rusty as they fell 24-12 behind by half-time. Nick Macleod's four penalties giving them only a glimmer of hope for the second half.

The gap opened to 27-12 after the interval but the introduction of substitute Danny Cipriani turned the game on its head. After good handling down the left wing, he scored Sale's first try of the afternoon then played a major role in the second as Mark Jennings found a way through near the right hand touchline.

The crucial score came from forward Tony Buckley, who was unstoppable from short range, crashing over the whitewash to be granted the try after inspection from the video referee.

After Rob Miller's cool conversion and penalty soon afterwards, Cardiff cut the lead back to one point with a late penalty. But Sale held their nerve to register a much needed win.