Estelles and Kessell star as Wanderers secure home semi-final

JP Estelles and Tom Kessell excelled for the Wanderers as they secured a home semi-final in the Aviva A League by sinking Sale Jets at Franklin's Gardens on Monday night.

Monday, 10th April 2017, 9:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:45 pm
JP Estelles

Argentina wing Estelles and scrum-half Kessell both bagged two tries, while Christian Day coming off the bench to add a fifth late on in a comfortable 32-3 success.

It means the Wanderers top the Northern Conference and will have home comforts in the semi-finals, which are scheduled to take place on April 24.

A strong Wanderers team had been named to take on Sale, with the likes of Luther Burrell and James Wilson lining up for the Saints second string.

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And they were dominant from the first whistle with their persistent pressure forcing Sale prop Ciaran Parker into the sin bin.

And it wasn't long before the opening try came as Kessell was fed by Sam Dickinson from the back of the scrum and the No.9 did the rest.

JJ Hanrahan easily added the extras and the Wanderers threatened to rub salt in the wounds as Estelles slalomed his way through and Wilson was just stopped at the last.

Estelles was soon getting on the mark himself though as Sale failed to retain the ball in their own half and the wing flew in for a score out wide.

Hanrahan missed the touchline conversion, but the Wanderers were in complete control, continuing to press in a bid to add to their tally.

However, it was Sale who would get the final points of the half as fly-half Dan Mugford slotted a penalty from in front of the posts.

But the Wanderers were to quickly cancel that out at the start of the second half as Hanrahan slotted a penalty of his own.

And there was soon another try for the home side as the impressive Estelles spotted a gap, stepped his way through it and sped in to register an eye-catching effort.

Hanrahan missed the conversion, but he soon made amends, adding the extras after Kessell found it easy to cruise past the Sale defence to secure his second score of the night.

And the Wanderers weren't done yet as patient build-up play resulted in replacement Day rounding things off by scoring in the left corner.

Wanderers: Wilson; Collins, Hutchinson, Burrell (Olver 60), Estelles; Hanrahan (Grayson 69), Kessell (Mitchell 69); Ma'afu (E Waller 50), Clare (Fish 57), Denman (Ilnicki 57); Paterson, Craig (Day 57); Nutley, Ludlam (Allman 66), Dickinson (c).

Sale Jets: Jeffers; Coulson (Odogwu 40), Leota, Tuitupou (Chatterton 66), Edwards; Mugford, Dever (Wilson 75); Pope (Williams 69), Langdon (Briggs 59), Parker (Ferreira 60); Mills (Pozniak 69), Postlethwaite; Hughes (c) (Moore 48), Seymour, Rogerson.

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe

Attendance: 1,036