Buoyed by the win at Harlequins the previous Friday, Sale Sharks had a good week preparing for the game but were wary that Worcester were scrapping for their lives.
The teams had met at Sixways in October in the Amlin Challenge Cup and Sharks had recorded a bonus point win.
One player that Sale were looking out for was speedy back Chris Pennell who makes metres for fun, carries the ball well and loves taking on and beating defenders. Sharks were also mindful that the majority of Worcester points had been scored in the second period.
Worcester kicked off and although Sharks made ground they conceded a penalty 40 metres out which Mieres lined up but his kick fell short of the target.
Sharks went on the offensive and referee Andrew Small went to the TMO on 10 minutes when Cipriani put a clever kick through and Arscott attempted to touch down. No try was the decision.
Cipriani was in the wars shortly afterwards when he kicked clear and Worcester Number 8 Senatore collided with him after he had kicked the ball. The TMO believed it to be accidental.
The play was scrappy and Sharks were on the wrong end of a series of penalties awarded by the referee. Mieres started the scoreboard moving on 15 mins with a 25 metre penalty 0-3.
Sharks responded with a good break set up by skipper Dan Braid and Henry Thomas made good yards towards the line but was brought down and penalised for not releasing the ball.
Sharks finally got on the scoreboard when Cipriani fed Tuitupou with a lovely offload. Tuitupou passed to Addison who bought in a beautiful cross field kick which Mark Cueto caught and dashed in for a great try. Cipriani converted with ease and Sharks led 7-3.
Worcester to their credit tried to build some momentum but the Sharks defence held firm. Full Back Chris Pennell made one of his trademark runs into Sharks territory but he was tackled lacking support.
On 29 minutes Cipriani had the chance to increase the lead but his penalty attempt was narrowly wide of the target.
Mark Cueto who had been struggling since scoring his try with a leg injury was replaced on 32 minutes by Mark Jennings sporting his now trademark Mohican haircut.
On the stroke of half time Tom Arscott made a try saving tackle on debutant Stephenson in the corner.
HT Sale Sharks 7 Worcester Warriors 3
Henry Thomas was in the wars early in the second half and had to be replaced by Vadim Cobilas. Thomas was later diagnosed with a rib cartlidge injury.
A fight broke out between both numbers 4's on 42 minutes and the TMO was asked for his opinion. Both captains were told to cool their players down. From the resultant penalty Cipriani kicked for touch and the line out set up the rolling maul. Sadly Sharks were penalised to the delight of the Warriors players.
On 47 minutes Sharks scored their second try. Danny Cipriani's magical offload led to James Gaskell scorching in for a great try. Cipriani converted and Sharks led 14-3
Sharks built in confidence and on 56 minutes Sammy Tuitupou single handed won a penalty. Danny Cipriani kicked for touch and from the line out Dan Braid rallied the troops and the rolling maul was in full flow. Braid touched down and with a superb conversion from Cipriani Sharks were 21-3 in front hunting the bonus point.
Worcester grabbed a try on 68 minutes from a rolling maul. Giant prop Ofa Fainga'anuku got the final touch and Pennell's conversion put the visitors in with a shout of at least a losing bonus point. 21-10.
Sale desperate for the elusive fourth try made inroads into Worcester's defence but were maybe a little over eager and mistakes occurred.
The bonus point try arrived on 76 minutes when Tom Arscott finished a flowing move in front of the South Stand. Joe Ford, who had replaced Cipriani moments earlier took the conversion but was well wide with his attempt. 26-10
There was still time for another twist when former Sharks skipper Dean Schofield crashed over the line for Worcester. The TMO was consulted and his decision was no try.
The whistle blew for no side and the crowd of 5755 went home happy
Final Score Sale Sharks 26 Worcester Warriors 10
Sale Sharks Miller; Arscott, Addison, Tuitupou, Cueto (off 32mins); Cipriani (off 74mins), Peel (off 63mins); Lewis-Roberts (off 58mins), Jones (off 53mins), Thomas (off 41mins), Mills (off 65mins), Paterson, Braid (capt), Seymour, Gaskell (off 71mins).
Replacements: Taylor (on for Jones 53mins), Harrison (on for Roberts 58mins), Cobilas (on for Thomas 41mins), Ostrikov (on for Mills 65mins), Easter (on for Gaskell 71mins), Cliff (on for Peel 63mins), Ford (on for Cipriani 74mins), Jennings (on for Cueto 32mins).
Scoring Sequence: 0-3, 5-3, 7-3 (Half Time) 12-3, 14-3, 19-3, 21-3, 21-8, 21-10, 26-10
|Sale Sharks Score Card|
|Worcester Warriors Score Card|