Tag Archives: sharks

Australia stars Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna suspended after Melbourne Rebels team bus brawl

Two Wallaby stars suspended for punch-up on team bus after embarrassing club loss

Gerard Brand


12:48 GMT, 24 March 2013



13:23 GMT, 24 March 2013

Australia utility back Kurtley Beale and fellow Wallaby Cooper Vuna have been suspended by the Melbourne Rebels after an incident on their team bus.

It followed the side's embarrassing 64-7 loss to the Durban-based Sharks in South Africa on Saturday.

The Rebels said in a statement Sunday that an internal investigation resulted in Beale, who did not play in the match due to a broken left hand, and winger Vuna being ordered to return to Australia.

Punching above their weight: Rebels were torn apart by Sharks in Durban

Punching above their weight: The Rebels were torn apart by Sharks in Durban

Kurtley Beale

Cooper Vuna of the Rebels

Suspended: Kurtley Beale (left) and Cooper Vuna (right, white shirt) will not play until the matter is resolved

Rebels coach Damien Hill said both Beale and Vuna had broken team protocols and as a result cannot be part of the team 'until the disciplinary process is complete.'

He added: 'The club will not tolerate this type of behavior and I am embarrassed for everyone associated.'

The Rebels launched a probe after it emerged that Beale may have punched Vuna in an altercation on the team bus.

Officials initially refused to name the individuals involved but tweets subsequently deleted by Vuna suggested Beale had assaulted him.

'I need to leave right now, this ain't for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il [sic] leave!' Vuna posted in the early hours of the morning.

Catch up: Rebels are currently third bottom of the Super 15 league

Catch up: Rebels are currently third from bottom of the Super 15 league

But Hill added: 'The Club will not tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this Club.'

Reports of the confrontation came after Hill had questioned whether his players had pride in the jersey.

'Our guys just didn't show up and it's quite embarrassing to be honest,' he said after his side's mauling at the ABSA Stadium.

'It's probably the worst defeat I've ever been associated with through the club, and I'm really questioning the pride these guys have in the jersey.

'Even though it's a new team, you've got to be prepared to leave blood on the field when you're playing a team like the Sharks. And our guys didn't.'

Six Nations 2013: Henry Thomas in England squad

Thomas drafted into England squad for Scotland clash as cover for Corbisiero

Mike Dawes


20:02 GMT, 27 January 2013



20:02 GMT, 27 January 2013

Henry Thomas has been called into the England squad as injury cover for Alex Corbisiero ahead of next weekend's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham.

Sale Sharks prop Thomas will train with the rest of the England squad at Pennyhill Park ahead of Saturday's match while Corbisiero remains at London Irish for treatment on a knee injury, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed in a statement this evening.

Call: Henry Thomas has joined up with the England squad

Call: Henry Thomas has joined up with the England squad

Harlequins' winger Ugo Monye has also been drafted into the 33-man training squad as Freddie Burns remains at Gloucester for treatment, also with a knee problem.

Meanwhile, the RFU also said Shaun Knight has withdrawn from the England Saxons squad as he, too, must return to Gloucester due to a knee injury.

The Saxons convene in Newcastle tomorrow morning ahead of their match with Scotland A at Kingston Park on Friday.

Sale Sharks media chief slams fans on Facebook for complaining after 62-0 defeat

You f*******! Sale media chief slams fans on Facebook and Cipriani loses place in squad



14:22 GMT, 21 December 2012

The woman in charge of Sale's social media operation appears to have lambasted the club's moaning fans as 'f*******' on Facebook in the wake of the club's crushing 62-0 Heineken Cup thrashing to Toulon.

Fans reacted with outrage after Holleh Nowrouz appeared to slam fans who complained the club should spend more time on training than on blogs and social media sites.

Humiliation: Sale were hammered by Toulon in the Heineken Cup

Humiliation: Sale were hammered by Toulon in the Heineken Cup

Sharks supporters hit back on blogs and
forums, one angry fan wrote: 'Well thats just about typical from this
franchise. Utter shambles, kick anybody out who cares about Sale / the
fans, replace them with utter F*******, who have no idea…brilliant.'

Paying the price: Cipriani has been dropped by Sale

Paying the price: Cipriani has been dropped by Sale

The reversal was the club's heaviest Heineken
Cup defeat as the French outfit showed their title credentials with a
crushing victory at Stade Felix Mayol.

Meanwhile, Danny Cipriani's future at Sale has been thrown into doubt after Director of Rugby John Mitchell sensationally axed him from the 23-man playing squad that is set to be announced.

The news comes as a massive blow to Cipriani who had hoped to resurrect his career in England after he cut short his spell at Melbourne Rebels.

The 25-year-old fly-half has paid the price following Sale's humiliation at the hands of Toulon.

He returned home early from a spell in Australia where controversy stemmed from late-night antics including a broken curfew and a suspension instigated by his team-mates.

After some patchy form Down Under, with particular concerns about defensive vulnerability, Cipriani's fresh start in English rugby had been seen an opportunity for him to revitalise his career and his reputation.

Sale 6 Toulon 17: Jonny Wilkinson seals points for Toulon

Sale 6 Toulon 17: Sharks sink in the wet as Wilko wins again



23:03 GMT, 8 December 2012

Jonny Wilkinson has labelled
England's epic win over New Zealand as a 'turning point' for English
rugby and 'the most influential victory in five years'.

The record-breaking England stand-off
was speaking after helping his Toulon side beat a Sale team featuring
Danny Cipriani in a physical Heineken Cup fixture.

Wilkinson, the second highest points
scorer in Test match history behind New Zealand's Dan Carter, expressed
his admiration for Stuart Lancaster's England after watching the game
last Saturday on TV.

Kicking boots: Jonny Wilkinson kicks a penalty for Toulon

Kicking boots: Jonny Wilkinson kicks a penalty for Toulon

'We deserved to win against a very,
very good side and it could be a huge turning point for England after
what I believe is the most influential victory in the last five years
for English rugby.

'Their defence was uncompromising,
their work in the breakdown fantastic and the way they attacked the ball
exceptional. It's all about attitude now. If we can put the same
attitude into the next game, then the next, then England won't need Manu
Tuilagi to beat five players.

'They need to keep their feet on the
ground in one sense because what's important is the next game, not the
last one, but knowing the talent they have I was not surprised.'

Held his own: Sale's Danny Cipriani

Held his own: Sale's Danny Cipriani

Cipriani might have been playing for
England but for some off-field antics in recent times, but a move to
Sale appears to be calming the talented stand-off, although he remains,
at best, fourth in Lancaster's pecking order for the No10 jersey.

He put in a solid display against
Wilkinson, the man he twice replaced with England in 2008 through form
and injury, but both were denied the chance to shine in appalling
weather conditions as Toulon emerged the winners.

The odds were stacked against Sale
with the home side languishing at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership
and the visitors leading the French Top 14.

Moreover Toulon, arguably the form
team in Europe, were not just sporting a who's who of world rugby in the
form of Wilkinson, ex-Wallaby Matt Giteau, former All Black Carl
Heyman, former Springbok Bakkies Botha and French international stars
Frederic Michalak and Mathieu Bastareaud, but also former Sharks
returning for the first time to the new, Salford City Stadium in the
shape of Andrew Sheridan, France's Sebastien Bruno and Puma Juan Martin
Fernandez Lobbe.

Just short: Sebastien Tilous-Borde is stopped close to the tryline

Just short: Sebastien Tilous-Borde is stopped close to the tryline

The Armitage brothers, Delon and Steffon, also ran out in the gloom, determined to prove their worth.

Old England stars Simon Shaw – now 39
and still going strong – and Nick Kennedy made a powerful, all-English
reserve second row from the bench as well.

Pacing up and down the touchdown were
former head coach turned chief executive Steve Diamond and new
appointment, former All Black coach John Mitchell, hoping that, despite
the quality of opposition, the Heineken Cup could kickstart a recovery.
They would have been delighted, despite the loss, with what they saw in
terms of commitment and effort, although the inclement conditions
certainly helped the Sharks.

Cipriani missed two penalties, one
striking the bar, but scored with two more, while Wilkinson missed two
penalties and a conversion, and landed two penalties.

Dejected: Sale Sharks players look on

Dejected: Sale Sharks players look on

The difference at the interval was David Smith's try on the half hour after Fernandez Lobbe tipped Wilkinson's inch perfect up and under into the path of the Australian winger and Smith sprinted to the corner to score. Wilkinson nudged Toulon into an eight-point lead with another penalty and Botha thought he had finally broken the Sale rearguard action in the 67th minute, but Andy Powell held him up.It took a 75th-minute penalty from Wilkinson to finally settle the issue.

Toulon's grip at the top of Pool 6 has tightened as a result and Sale, for all their spirit, are all but out of the Heineken Cup, a fact likely to be confirmed next Sunday when they face the return game in Toulon.

Messrs Wilkinson, retired from England but hopeful of a Lions tour this summer, and Cipriani, hoping he may one day wear the red rose again, will be expecting some South of France conditions.

Gloucester 29 Sale Sharks 3: Match report

Gloucester 29 Sale 3: Burns puts the boot in but Edmonds injury overshadows win


16:07 GMT, 24 November 2012



16:07 GMT, 24 November 2012

Gloucester climbed up to third place in the Aviva Premiership as they inflicted the eighth league defeat of the season on bottom side Sale Sharks.

Two tries, one from Akapusi Qera and the other a penalty touchdown, in the last quarter ended a match which failed to inspire.

Home fly-half Freddie Burns booted five penalties in the opening 24 minutes and converted both tries against a solitary penalty from ex-England ace Danny Cipriani for Sale.

Steady Freddie: Burns was in fine form with the boot for Gloucester

Steady Freddie: Burns was in fine form with the boot for Gloucester

But the win was marred by a serious-looking neck injury to the home side's Australia hooker Huia Edmonds 10 minutes into the second half.

Gloucester have not lost at Kingsholm since Northampton beat them on September 1 as they went in search of a a seventh home victory.

It was down to sloppy Sale errors and the precise boot of Burns, this season's top points scorer in the Premiership, that Gloucester went clear early on.

The Sharks, looking for a second league victory of the season after breaking their duck with a 21-9 win over London Irish earlier this month, were never in it.

Burns put the Cherry and Whites in front after five minutes with the first of his five penalties in the opening period.

And the fly-half showed plenty of confidence to nail his next four kicks, two from 40metres, one from 45m and the other way out on the left from about 50m.

Concerned: Huia Edmonds is carried off the pitch on a stretcher

Concerned: Huia Edmonds is carried off the pitch on a stretcher

There were no clear-cut try-scoring chances from either side during a dull first period until Sale had a chance in the final six minutes.

They were desperate to get back into the game at 15-0 down and, instead of going for goal when awarded a penalty, tried a kick to touch and attacking line-out.

The drive took them close, but when British Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel fed No 8 Andy Powell, the ex-Wales international dropped the ball.

Cipriani got Sale on the board with a 25m penalty, but after the break and despite some good drives from big centre Sam Tuitupou, handling mistakes again let the Sharks down.

The match was held up 10 minutes into the second half for the worrying injury to Edmonds after Sale's pack drove into a maul near the home line.

Edmonds fell to the ground as medics raced on to the pitch and spent six minutes treating him before the hooker was stretchered off with his neck in a brace.

Sale got back into it the quicker from the restart, but lost their way as Gloucester regained the initiative and, to the relief of the home support, put themselves almost out of sight with 17 minutes remaining.

Fijian flanker Qera took a short pass from scrum-half Jimmy Cowan to drive over the line from five metres.

It brought some life back into the Cherry and Whites and, with Cipriani now on the bench with an icepack on his knee, Sale's chances were gone.

Gloucester finished on top with their scrum hammering the opposition. And it was after a series of attacking scrums that the visitor's pack collapsed under the pressure on their own line and referee Luke Pearce had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try that finished things off.

Sale confident of John Mitchell capture

Sale confident of snaring Mitchell despite claims he wants South Africa return



13:55 GMT, 5 November 2012

The Sale coaching saga surrounding former All Blacks coach John Mitchell took a further twist on Monday when he claimed he wanted to return to his head coach’s role for Johannesburg-based Golden Lions.

But Sportsmail understands Mitchell is still poised to join Sale as a consultant this month despite the comments from South Africa.

Mitchell, who attended Sale’s recent games in the Heineken Cup, returned to Johannesburg last week to sort out his troubled employment at the Super 15 team following an internal inquiry into charges of misconduct.

Up in the air: John Mitchell is still set to join Sale Sharks

Up in the air: John Mitchell is still set to join Sale Sharks

That inquiry, according to Mitchell’s management company, has found the New Zealander not guilty and they are pressing for the findings to be published.

‘Even though John has been cleared of these particular allegations, the GLRU, through its lawyers, is not prepared to release details to John or his lawyers,’ said a statement from the Fordham management company.

‘That's pretty amazing considering the damage that this action taken by the GLRU has done to John's reputation and brand.

‘Furthermore, the GLRU's lawyers have advised John's lawyers that they are not prepared to release the findings and recommendations pertaining to the remaining nine charges brought against John unless John agrees to sign a confidentiality agreement.’

Mitchell told media in Johannesburg that he wanted to return to his head coach’ s role, having been stood down pending the inquiry.

Struggles: Sale have failed to find their form this season

Struggles: Sale have failed to find their form this season

‘There is some unfinished business to do with the Lions. Furthermore, I am determined that my future will be in South Africa,’ he said.

However, Sportsmail understands Sale remain confident they will have Mitchell taking up a consultant’s role in the near future.

Mitchell was named last week as part of Sale’s new rugby board alongside chief executive Steve Diamond and Bryan Redpath, the former Scotland scrum-half, who has been demoted from director of rugby to head coach following the team’s run of only one win in eight Premiership games.

Redpath, having agreed a new role last week, was then part of the coaching team who guided the team to a first Premiership win last Friday, against London Irish.

Sale deny Bryan Redpath has been sacked

Sale deny Redpath has been sacked but Scot remains on borrowed time



23:45 GMT, 29 October 2012

Sale have dismissed reports that Bryan Redpath had been sacked after a disastrous start to the season, but it appears certain that the Scot's short stint in charge of the Cheshire club is over.

With the Sharks currently eight points adrift at the foot of the Aviva Premiership season, former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has been lined up to oversee a salvage operation.

While the Kiwi was initially approached with a view to a consultancy role, he has since left no doubt that if he does return to Sale, where he previously played, it would be to take charge.

Staying put: Bryan Redpath remains at Sale but looks set to leave

Staying put: Bryan Redpath remains at Sale but looks set to leave

While it has been made clear to Redpath – who joined from Gloucester at the end of last season – that he will have to accept a reduced role, the club are adamant that he 'has NOT been dismissed'.

It remains to be seen if the ex-Scotland scrum half will stay for much longer, with either Mitchell or chief executive Steve Diamond at the helm.

Worcester 23 Sale 16: Match report

Worcester 23 Sale 16: Warriors come Goode to see off sorry Sharks



22:26 GMT, 26 October 2012

Ex-England halfbacks Andy Goode and Paul Hodgson fired Worcester to a bruising Premiership win over bottom-placed Sale.

Good scored 18 points, including a second-half try after some smart work by scrum-half Hodgson who was knocked out in the final seconds stopping a certain try by Sale substitute Will Addison.

If Addison had scored it would have given Sale a chance to grab a draw via a conversion attempt, but instead they had to settle for a losing bonus point from a seventh successive Premiership defeat.

Try time: Andy Goode celebrates going over the line for Worcester

Try time: Andy Goode celebrates going over the line for Worcester

Goode outshone his Sale counterpart Danny Cipriani who failed to convert both of Sale’s tries and was substituted 15 minutes from time.

Worcester’s head coach Richard Hill praised Hodgson for his bravery on his Premiership debut since joining from London Irish last summer.

'His tackle epitomised our defence at the end when Sale had all the pressure. Paul was very brave considering he had very severe concussion for London Irish at the end of last season. His tackle saved us two points.’

Flying through the air: Worcester's David Lemi dives over to score his sides first try

Flying through the air: Worcester's David Lemi dives over to score his sides first try

Worcester led 16-8 at half-time having grabbed the initiative through another former international in Samoan wing David Lemi.

Lemi scampered through the Sale defence after taking a neat pass off Goode who converted the try to go alongside three first-half penalties.

Sale, who led 8-6 through Cueto’s try and a Cipriani penalty, drew level at 16-16 in the 59th minute thanks to a score from full-back Nick Macleod and a second penalty by his fly half.

On the charge: Worcester's Matt Kvesic breaks with the ball

On the charge: Worcester's Matt Kvesic breaks with the ball

But the turning point proved to be Hodgson’s quick break from a maul off a line-out which ended in Goode scoring. He added the difficult conversion to put Worcester 23-16 ahead.

Sale dominated the final 10 minutes and looked certain to score in injury-time only for Hodgson to dive head-long to stop Addison.

Bryan Redpath, Sale’s head coach, claimed his team should have gained a penalty try in the closing stages after forcing a series of scrums. ‘I thought we deserved to win,’ he said.

Montpellier 33 Sale 18: Trinh Duc stars

Montpellier 33 Sale 18: Duc blows Sharks away with superb second-half display



17:31 GMT, 21 October 2012

Sale were rocked by three second-half tries as they slipped to their first defeat of the Heineken Cup against Montpellier at a rain soaked Stade Yves du Manoir.

The Sharks had only trailed 12-8 at half-time, with Mark Cueto touching down for the only try, but they had no answer to the brilliance of Francois Trinh Duc in the second period.

The France fly-half scored his side's first try on 51 minutes before two moments of brilliance set up another two scores in a decisive 10-minute burst.

Key man:Trinh Duc thrilled Montpellier fans with a great performance

Key man:Trinh Duc thrilled Montpellier fans with a great performance

Trinh Duc twice deftly kicked over the Sharks line, the first allowing Timoci Nagusa to race over, before the outside half re-gathered his next kick and expertly spotted Julien Tomas to score.

That left Sale, who won a tense opener 34-33 against the Cardiff Blues, with too much to do over the final 20 minutes although Richie Vernon did grab a late consolation try.

Sharks boss Bryan Redpath made eight changes from the side that grabbed their sole success of the season against the Blues, but he saw his pack torn to pieces at the scrum.

Redpath had new coaching consultant John Mitchell alongside him in the stands, but by the end they were both left wondering how to counteract the power of the home forwards.

The rain fell from almost start to finish and conditions were difficult for handling rugby, but Sale shocked their hosts with a brilliant try after only four minutes.

The Montpellier forwards drove deep into the Sale 22, but Georgian back row forward Mamuka Gorgodze had the ball ripped away from his grasp by the combined efforts of Fraser McKenzie and Joe Ward.

Second wind: Montpellier improved as the game progressed

Second wind: Montpellier improved as the game progressed

Ward then launched a raid up the right
wing by releasing Tom Brady, who sped all the way up to half-way. The
ball came back quickly to Sale scrum-half Cillian Willis at the ruck and
he fed Danny Cipriani.

The former England outside half had a full line outside him, but immediately saw Cueto completely unmarked on the left wing. Cipriani's cross-field kick was inch-perfect and allowed Cueto to gather on the bounce and score his first try of the season.

Full-back Rob Miller was unable to add the conversion, but he managed to hit the mark with a 26th-minute penalty to keep his side very much in the hunt in a tight first half.

Montpellier used the boot of Argentinian Martin Bustos Moyana to gather their first-half points and he kicked four out of five penalty shots to give the French Top 14 team a 12-8 interval lead.

The second half saw the home side increase their forward dominance and pick up three tries to speed to a comfortable win.

Charge: Tom Brady runs with the ball for Sale

Charge: Tom Brady runs with the ball for Sale

Trinh Duc came into his own and two wonderful pieces of skill from him completely opened up the Sale defence. Both involved inch-perfect chips over the top of the Sale defensive line and both led to long-range scores.

It was Trinh Duc himself who scored the first try, waltzing over after the Sale scrum had been pushed off their own ball and Scottish number eight John Beattie picked up and fed his outside half.

The first chip from Trinh Duc paved the way for Nagusa to show off his power and pace and then the outside half re-gathered his own kick before beautifully switching back inside to his half back partner Tomas who raced the length of the 22 to score.

All three tries were converted by Bustos Moyana and at 33-11 it seemed a formality for Montpellier to get the bonus point.

To their credit, though, Sale kept fighting and hit back with a 74th-minute try from replacement back row Vernon when he picked up the pieces at the end of a line-out in the home 22 and crossed in the right corner.

Miller added a brilliant touchline conversion, but it was back down to earth with a bump after the euphoria of the previous weekend.

Cameron Shepherd joins Sale Sharks

Sale hand Shepherd Premiership lifeline after Northants move falls through



22:32 GMT, 15 August 2012

Sale Sharks have given Australian full-back Cameron Shepherd a route into the Aviva Premiership after his proposed move to Northampton collapsed on medical grounds.

The 28-year-old struggled with groin and wrist injuries during the Super 15 season and Northampton were not convinced he could cope with the demands of the Premiership.

Sale invited Shepherd to train with them and have announced his signing along with that of outside centre Corne Uys from Newcastle.

Shark attack: Shepherd has joined Sale after Northants move collapsed

Shark attack: Shepherd has joined Sale after Northants move collapsed

Director of Rugby Bryan Redpath said: 'Cameron has got great pedigree. We're hoping to get him fully fit, so that he can seize the opportunity to make a big impact for this club.'

Uys, 30, returns to the Premiership from relegated Newcastle, who he joined in October last year from the Free State Cheetahs.

Sharks chief executive Steve Diamond said: 'We need depth among the backs to meet that challenge of the three major competitions in which we are involved, and Corne will get decent game time through the year.'