Premiership: Sale Sharks 25-14 Wasps
|Sale (12) 25|
|Tries: Arscott, Cusiter, Brady Cons: Cipriani 2 Pens: Cipriani Drop goals: Cipriani|
|Wasps (7) 14|
|Tries: Hughes, Wade Cons: Goode, Miller|
Sale stood firm to defeat Wasps and earn their second Premiership win of the season.
Nathan Hughes's try wiped out Tom Arscott's early score to edge Wasps ahead until late in the first half, when Chris Cusiter reacted quickest after blocking Charlie Davies' kick.
A drop goal and penalty from Danny Cipriani added to Sale's lead before Christian Wade pulled a try back.
But Sale resisted and Tom Brady went over late on to seal the points.
The Sharks move above Leicester and Wasps into eighth place in the Premiership, with the visitors dropping to ninth.
Sale's forwards piled the pressure on their Wasps counterparts from the start and were rewarded when they set up the platform for Arscott to score, the Premiership's top try-scorer diving over in the left corner for his fifth of the season.
But Wasps, with Wade dangerous on the right wing, came back into it to gain their first foothold in the Sale 22. After a series of penalties at the breakdown in the left corner, Sale's Michael Paterson was sin-binned and the visitors took less than a minute to take the lead.
Hughes burrowed over after good work in the maul from former Shark James Gaskell, who was playing at the Salford City Stadium for the first time since his summer move to Wasps, and Andy Goode converted.
Cipriani's poor first half with the boot included two missed penalties, the second after Will Helu was controversially sin-binned for an aerial challenge with Tom Brady.
Sale then regained a lead that they never relinquished as Cusiter charged down a hesitant Davies box kick. The Scotland international reacted quickest as Wade fumbled the ball to touch down.
Cipriani converted with his only successful kick of the half, but he turned his fortunes around after the break, striking a drop goal soon after the restart and kicking a 48th-minute penalty to put the Sharks 18-7 ahead.
Sale withstood a sustained period of pressure from the Wasps attack, but were disappointed when they conceded a 68th minute try as England winger Wade skipped his way past three tackles to cross under the posts, with Rob Miller converting.
But Sale made it safe as they took advantage of quick line-out deep in opposing territory. With the Wasps defence stretched, the ball was fed to the right corner where Brady went over, with Cipriani making his fourth successive kick of the half.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:
"There was a relief in the changing room afterwards, we needed to win.
"What we've tried to do is not stress the team and put them under too much pressure, but there's a time when the talking has to stop.
"In this competition with the mid-table sides, I think you've got to be putting your best side out every week because everybody can knock each other over, as has been proven already this year."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
"We're in two very tough tournaments this season. It wasn't a case of resting players for rest's sake. The guys that we rested needed that rest, otherwise they were going to break down.
"Joe Launchbury has got a bit of a neck strain. If it was a cup final he could have played but we have a responsibility to look after him and make sure he's right.
"It's the same with James Haskell. We've all seen his performances to date. He's been totally battered and hasn't trained all week."
Sale: McLean; Brady, Leota, Jennings, Arscott; Cipriani, Cusiter; Harrison, Jones, Cobilas, Mills, Paterson, Lund, Seymour, Easter.
Replacements: Neild, De Marchi, Lewis-Roberts, Beaumont, Fihaki, Cliff, Ford, Cueto.
Wasps: Miller; Wade, Leiua, C Bell, W Helu; Goode, C Davies, Yapp, Festuccia, Cooper-Woolley; Gaskell, Cannon, Johnson, Thompson, Hughes.
Replacements: Lindsay, Mullan, Cittadini, B Davies, Jones, Simpson, Masi, Tagicakibau.
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).