Australia ace Horne scores as Wanderers earn comfortable win at Sale

Rob Horne scored against Sale Jets (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rob Horne scored against Sale Jets (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Summer signing Rob Horne made an immediate impact as he scored for the Wanderers in their 22-7 win against Sale Jets at Heywood Road on Monday night.

The Australia centre arrived at Franklin's Gardens last week and he enjoyed his first 40 minutes in Northampton colours.

Rory Hutchinson was on kicking duty

Rory Hutchinson was on kicking duty

South Africa scrum-half Cobus Reinach also impressed on his first appearance for the club, while another new recruit, Jamal Ford-Robinson, scored the Wanderers' bonus-point try.

Charlie Clare and Jamie Elliott were also on the scoresheet as the Wanderers began the defence of their Prem Rugby A League title with a comfortable victory in gloomy conditions.

The game was a good audition ahead of Saints' huge Aviva Premiership meeting with Leicester Tigers at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

And Horne passed the test with flying colours before being replaced at half-time, with the Tigers match in mind.

Former Leinster youth player Paddy Ryan started at six for the Wanderers

Former Leinster youth player Paddy Ryan started at six for the Wanderers

Reinach and North weren't on for too much longer, with both also likely to feature against Leicester this weekend.

The Wanderers came flying out of the blocks at Heywood Road, applying plenty of early pressure to the home defence.

And after Horne was held up, the away side used a lineout drive to send hooker Clare over for an early score.

Horne didn't have to wait too much longer to get his own name on the scoresheet as he ran a clever line and flew through to score.

Ben Nutley lined up in the second row

Ben Nutley lined up in the second row

Hutchinson added the extras to give his dominant side a 12-0 advantage.

The game was being played almost exclusively in Sale territory, but the men in blue finally got a reprieve with a quick break from fly-half Kieran Wilkinson.

However, the Wanderers held firm under pressure, preventing wing Arron Reed from scoring out wide.

Sale continued to press and the Wanderers were offending on a regular basis, resulting in a yellow card for skipper Sam Dickinson.

And the Jets scored almost immediately as powerful centre Jonny Leota forced his way over, and Wilkinson narrowed the gap to five points with the successful conversion.

The Wanderers made one change at half-time with the impressive Horne replaced.

The second half started in feisty fashion, with new signings Reinach and Francois van Wyk involved in a pushing contest.

Referee Chris Bennett even got an inadvertent shove and Sale prop Jake Pope was shown a yellow card for his part in the dust-up.

The Wanderers took immediate advantage as Elliott, in the team as a late replacement for Tom Stephenson, latched on to a kick ahead to score.

But Hutchinson missed the seemingly simple conversion to leave the gap at 10 points.

Reinach and North were soon replaced and the game continued in scrappy fashion, with neither side able to produce a moment of magic.

That was until prop Ford-Robinson popped up out wide, grabbed a great offload from Api Ratuniyarawa and sprinted to the line to score in the corner.

It was an impressive turn of speed from the prop and it had earned the Wanderers the bonus point.

Hutchinson missed the conversion, but the Wanderers' work was done and they saw out the rest of the game to secure a stress-free success.

Sale Jets: Carleton; Reed, James, Leota, Charnley; Wilkinson, Walsh; Pope, Langdon, John; Postlethwaite, Nott; N Dolly, Seymour, Pearce.

Wanderers: Furbank; Elliott, Estelles, Horne (Dingwall 40), North (Strachan 55); Hutchinson, Reinach (Kessell 52); van Wyk (Beesley 68), Clare (Marshall 53), Ford-Robinson (Painter 68); Paterson, Moon (Ratuniyarawa 53); Ryan, Nutley, Dickinson (c).

Referee: Chris Bennett