Despite a shambolic first half that saw Bath easily amass a 17-0 half-time lead and which contributed significantly to the home side's eventual bonus point victory, late tries from TJ Ioane and Johnny Leota ensured Sale left the Recreation Ground on Saturday afternoon with two valuable bonus points as their hunt for a top-six place continued.
Leota's touchdown against the bottom of the post with the clock dead - his second and his side's fourth of the day - clawed the Sharks back to a six point deficit which secured a resilient, if outclassed, team a pair of bonus points which, considering the dire opening to Saturday's game that saw Bath puncture the Sale defensive line with alarming ease, feels akin to a substantial victory.
The result means Sale have gained seven points across the previous fortnight's home-and-home series with Bath and have now manoeuvred themselves past Northampton Saints to occupy 5th spot in the Premiership table.
With a frankly dire first forty behind them, it was pleasing to see Sale respond with aplomb once the game restarted - Johnny Leota (his first) and Andrei Ostrikov barging over in quick succession to ensure the fixture would remain competitive.
And despite clinical tries from Semesa Rokoduguni and Will Homer eventually putting the game beyond the Sharks' reach, Sale's attainment of two bonus points even in defeat could prove invaluable as they look to cement a spot in next season's Champions Cup.
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