After 20 minutes activists from Just Stop Oil, created a delay – and a mess on the pitch

It was a chaotic stretch just 20 minutes into the showcase at Twickenham, with the Gallagher Premiership final disrupted by protestors wearing ‘Just Stop Oil’ T-shirts and releasing an orange powder.

With play between Saracens or Sale Sharks going on – and some players down on the field needing attention from medical personnel – the protestors ran onto the field, to a chorus of boos, causing play to halt. Sports fans may remember last month, when an activist jumped onto a table at the Snooker World Championships during a match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry at the Crucible and spread similar orange powder all over the table.

It didn’t take long for play to begin again, but the first try of the contest also had a wild feel to it, as Max Malins grubbered ahead into the Sale Sharks territory and was taken out without the ball by Tom Curry. A penalty try was awarded and Curry was sent to the bin for ten minutes.

Credit to Sale who were 13-6 down, and had a man in the bin. They came hammering back and barged over through hooker Akker van der Merwe, to make it 13-13.

Malins had a big say again, though. With an advantage and the ball worked into captain Owen Farrell’s hands, he timed a pass perfectly. Malins had a fine line into acres of space. He did the hard work to take it all the way, and Sarries would end up 20-13 ahead. It was a first half of high drama, and that’s without any help from pitch invaders.

The biggest cheers of the first half was almost certainly when a steward put a hit on one of the protestors, though…

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