Sale Sharks vs Wasps, Sunday afternoon, 2:07 pm, Wasps' 22, Tom Arscott took a pass on Sale's left wing from Michael Paterson, evaded the desperation tackle from Joe Simpson and acrobatically dived over the try line to record the first score of the afternoon for either side.
In all it was a simple, through-the-hands play that resulted in Arscott's try, his fifth in five games in the 2014-15 season, but his early score served as the metaphorical cherry on top of another strong and decisive performance from the 27 year-old who is in the form of his career in his second season at Sale Sharks.
Indeed Arscott has gone from strength to strength since replacing Mark Cueto in the 52nd minute of Sale's home opener against Bath last month; the former London Welsh man has played every single possible minute since the Bath game (320 out of 320). He has performed superbly in all aspects of the game this season; in attack he has been a dangerous and lively runner, positioning himself to burst through any gaps that appear in defence, defensively sound in tackling out on the wing and his tactical kicking has seen improvement from last year as well. Also worth pointing out is Arscott's enthusiasim and determination that adds another dimension to the pace he possesses; Arscott has frequently been the first Sale player to get to the ball from restarts into the opposition half and his speed on the touchline is a dangerous weapon that Sale have utilised to great effect this season especially with low kicks through the defence for Arscott to gather out on the wing.
What is most apparent is that Arscott has rectified his tendency to "overplay" the situations he finds himself in that led to the needless turnovers which dogged his performances towards the end of last season. For instance, Arscott at times last year opted to try and take on a solitary defender when fielding a kick back in his own 22 and when tackled was left isolated allowing the defending team to turnover the ball. This season however Arscott is playing smarter with ball-in-hand and is making decisions more beneficial to the team perhaps as a result of switching from the full-back position he played last year to left wing in Mark Cueto's absence.
Arscott has been one of, if not the most, electric of Sale's players this season leading the Sharks in metres made, clean breaks and defenders beaten across the whole team as well as topping the Premiership's try scoring table with five scores in five games.
But Arscott's superb form is leading me to pose another question; has he been able to play his way into England contention?
Before I am robbed of my credibility as a rugby writer, I will admit that the likelihood of Arscott being included in England's Autumn EPS squad is slim, especially with the current form of Gloucester's Johnny May and Bath's Semesa Rokoduguni, who are at the front of the line to displace incumbent England internationals Marland Yarde and Christian Wade. However if Stuart Lancaster is true to his word about selecting players based on form rather than on past pedigree surely Arscott's form at Sale would warrant at least an extended consideration from Lancaster and co. especially if Arscott can continue his fine try-scoring form between now and October 22 when the England squad for the Autumn Internationals are announced.
The strength of England's wing depth however will most likely relegate Arscott to the England Saxons set up if he is to be included at all especially given Arscott's age and lack of experience at international level. However a call up to the Saxons team would be fully deserved given the performance he has put in for Sale this season and should they continue, it is a story line worth watching out for over the next few months.