Leicester Tigers Development XV were defeated 25-19 by Sale Jets in the second round of the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby Shield on Monday evening, with a late try to Taylor Gough securing a consolation point for the visitors at Heywood Road.
A man down for the final fifteen minutes, following a red card to back-rower Cameron Jordan, helped Sale wrap up victory with two late tries at home.
However, a 14-man Tigers side fought valiantly until the final whistle to ensure they didn’t leave Sale empty handed by securing the competition point in the dying stages.
Leo Gilliland opened the scoring for Leicester in the 8th minute when the right winger injected himself into a well-worked attacking move down the left hand side of the pitch, deep in the Sale half, and, on the end of a looping pass over the top from Harry Glynn, crossed in the corner.
It was more than half an hour before the scoreboard attendant was called upon again as both sides took the fight to one another in a physical, bruising encounter on a cold, damp and muddy Heywood Road surface.
After a warning from referee Jack Makepeace following persistent infringements, Tigers front-rower Keston Lines was shown a yellow card at a scrum on the visitors line and the home side took advantage of the space created to find their way over for their first of the match.
An unsuccessful conversion attempt to follow from Sale meant the scores were tied at 5-all, where they stayed until the half-time break just minutes later.
The home side raced out of the blocks in the second-half with a try to right winger Tom Roebuck only six minutes after the break, followed by another yellow card for Tigers to replacement front-rower James Whitcombe after a fracas between several members of both sides after the try was scored.
A missed conversion attempt from in front meant the visitors only led by five points with just over half an hour remaining, before extending their lead to eight in the 55th minute with a successful penalty goal attempt.
Ill-discipline was the enemy of both sides throughout the match and only two minutes after stretching their lead, Sale allowed Tigers into their own half with a penalty near halfway and from the resulting line-out, the Leicester back-line once again moved the ball wide to the left only for right winger Gilliland to pop up and cross out wide.
Sam Costelow landed the conversion attempt from the touchline, cutting the Jets lead to just a single point as the clock approached the hour mark.
Tigers back-rower Jordan’s sending off with fifteen minutes remaining at Heywood Road was quickly followed by two tries for the hosts, who took advantage of the extra man in attack, before a consolation score for Leicester’s Gough in the final minutes meant Leicester finished within seven and took away a point from the Shield fixture in Sale.