Premiership: Sale Sharks 21-15 Worcester Warriors
|Sale (18) 21|
|Tries: Beaumont, Solomona Con: MacGinty Pens: MacGinty 3|
|Worcester (0) 15|
|Tries: Heem, Pennell Con: Weir Pen: Weir|
Sale withstood a Worcester second-half fightback to narrowly record their first Premiership win of the season.
Sharks had led 18-0 at half-time courtesy of tries from Josh Beaumont and Denny Solomona.
But Worcester made the hosts sweat with scores from Bryce Heem and Chris Pennell to claim a losing bonus point.
Warriors missed chances to take the lead in the closing quarter as they ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline in their second defeat.
Worcester are without a Premiership away win against Sale in almost a decade and will rue mistakes and loose handling that cost them at both ends of the field.
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The returning Beaumont's try owed much to some quick-thinking from fly-half AJ MacGinty and former England winger Marland Yarde, who kept the move alive for the number eight to slide over the whitewash in the left corner.
Solomona then pounced to intercept a Ryan Mills pass intended for Pennell as Worcester looked to reply, and the rugby league convert had a free sprint from 75 metres out to stretch Sale's lead before the break.
But Worcester were eventually rewarded for their concerted pressure either side of half-time when winger Heem finished an attacking line-out in the midfield channel.
Pennell then profited from an opportunist Josh Adams offload to sneak in on the hour mark and bring Warriors to within six points.
But his was to prove the final score as Sale did enough to close out the game.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:
"At half-time we weren't swinging from the chandelier in the changing room.
"We just said 'we've started well, let's make sure we put this game to bed but, if we play like we played, we'll convert'.
"What Worcester did at half-time was get themselves into gear. That's how competitive it is.
"We made a mistake last week going to Harlequins and underestimating them and got put back on the coach with tears in our eyes, it was that embarrassing - that won't happen again.
"With Bristol coming up and showing their resolve, the competition's at a different level."
Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons:
"We held onto the ball (with 38 phases of possession before half-time), which we hadn't done, and we took that into the second half.
"I thought that we then had our opportunities to close out the game, particularly at the end.
"Right in the beginning, there were not a massive amount of errors and they were small errors.
"But the consequence is that they score points from them and also end up getting field position. That was the problem."
Sale: McGuigan; Solomona, James, Jennings, Yarde; MacGinty, Cliff; Harrison, Webber, John, Evans, Phillips, Ross (capt), Curry, Beaumont.
Replacements: Neild, Tarus, Jones, Nott, Strauss, Warr, James, Odogwu.
Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Venter, Mills, Adams; Weir, Arr; Black, Annett, Schonert, Phillips, Barry, Mama, Lewis, Van Velze (capt).
Replacements: Taufete'e, Bower, Kerrod, Kitchener, Fa'osiliva, Heaney, Lance, Beck.
Referee: JP Doyle.