Premiership: Worcester 12-24 Sale
Worcester (0) 12
- Tries: Galarza 2
- Con: Lamb
Sale (11) 24
- Tries: Cueto, Braid
- Con: Cipriani
- Pens: Cipriani 3, MacLeod
Wing Mark Cueto marked his 200th league appearance with a try as Sale increased Worcester's relegation worries.
Cueto touched down either side of two Danny Cipriani penalties, while Agustin Creevy's try was ruled out for the Warriors as Sale led 11-0 at half-time.
Cipriani added another penalty before Sharks captain Dan Braid bundled over following a scrum to extend the lead.
Mariano Galarza replied with two tries but it was not enough to save Worcester from a 20th successive league defeat.
No Sale for Warriors
- Worcester have lost all five meetings with Sale this season, twice in the Premiership, twice in the Amlin Challenge Cup and once in the LV= Cup.
Dean Ryan's men, who went into the game knowing they needed a victory to stand any real chance of Premiership survival, conceded a penalty inside the first minute which Cipriani duly converted.
Sale piled on the pressure after that early advantage which led to Cueto's 85th Premiership try.
Fine work from David Seymour saw the ball spun out wide to former Warriors centre Sam Tuitupou who could have crossed himself, but instead fed it to the England international who scored in the corner.
Cipriani missed the conversion, but showed his quality minutes later when he sent over a penalty from the half-way line.
The hosts finished the half the stronger and thought they had their first points on the board when Creevy went over, but the TV match official chalked it off after the Argentine was adjudged to have been held up.
After the break Cipriani added another penalty in front of the posts following an infringement in the scrum, before Braid powered over from close range.
Cipriani converted to put the game out of Worcester's reach, but giant lock, Galarza, gave a half-full Sixways something to celebrate when he crashed over in the corner for his first Warriors try before Sale's replacement kicker Nick MacLeod slotted home another penalty.
With two minutes remaining Galarza scored his second try after Jeremy Su'a was brought down just short of the line following a fantastic run from the 22, which debutant Ryan Lamb converted.
The defeat meant Worcester have now lost all 15 games in the top flight this season, and remain 11 points behind Newcastle who host Northampton on Sunday.
Worcester Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan:
"I'm pretty disappointed. We looked paralysed for the first 20 minutes and we are not good enough to be half-baked against anyone.
"We can't seem to solve what freezes us at the start of the game.
"We can produce big emotional performances against Saracens and Leicester but, in games where we have a realistic chance of winning, we give the opposition a flying start, which is hard to understand."
Sale Sharks directory of rugby Steve Diamond:
"We were in total control for the first 20 minutes but they came back at us.
"We managed to stave them off in the second quarter and that's what won us the game, as after half-time we became dominant in the scrum.
"Mark Cueto is a great servant to the game and a great ambassador for Sale and England."
Worcester: Pennell (capt); Drauniniu, Grove, Fatiaki, Lemi; Warwick, Arr; Fainga'anuku, Creevy, Andress; Percival, Galarza; Williams, Betty, Senatore.
Replacements: Lamb for Warwick (41), Hammond for Drauniniu (54), Schofield for Percival (55), Shervington for Creevy (55), Porter for Fainga'anuku (60), O'Donnell for Murray (60).
Not Used: De Carpentier, Su'a.
Sale: Arscott; Brady, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto; Cipriani, Peel; Lewis-Roberts, Jones, Cobilas; Mills, Paterson; Braid (capt), Seymour, Gaskell.
Replacements: Cliff for Peel (33), Taylor for Jones (67), Harrison for Lewis-Roberts (67), Buckley for Cobilas (67), Easter for Braid (67), MacLeod for Cipriani (67), Jennings for Tuitupou (67).
Not Used: Fihaki.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU).