This may not have been the prettiest of victories, but it keeps Sale in the hunt for a place in the LV=Cup semi finals.
Captain Mark Easter and youngster Charlie Ingall scored tries which secured a battling 20-6 victory over a Worcester side who must be sick of the sight of Steve's Diamond's men, as they took on Sharks for the fourth time this season.
Sale had good reason to be confident considering their unbeaten start to 2014, and forced an early penalty. Joe Ford had the easiest of kicks to give the hosts an early 3-0 lead.
With conditions which weren't exactly conducive to running rugby, the home side's intelligent kicking game was gaining territory in the areas that mattered.
Worcester's Elliot Davies was clearly struggling with the swirling wind, hitting one penalty short and one wide in the visitor's only attempts of a hard fought first half.
Phil Mackenzie did his best to excite, but his slaloming run was thwarted by a much changed Warriors side.
Evidence, if it were needed, that the wind was playing a big part in the game was clear at the start of the second half. Will Cliff had to be on hand to keep a fingertip on the ball to stop it blowing off the kicking tee.
Ford was able to put that distraction to one side and stretch the lead to six. Davies hit back with his first successful kick of the day though.
If either side was going to cross the whitewash, then it was more than likely that the try would come through the forwards. That proved to be the case, with Captain Easter crashing over after a period of pressure on Warriors' line.
Sale's 10 point lead didn't last long, with another Worcester penalty meaning there was still plenty to play for in the final quarter.
Sharks' second try was the move of the match, and sealed another important win. Andy Forsyth's break created an overlap which gave Ingall the chance to touch down in the corner.
Sale: Haley; MacKenzie, Forsyth, Jennings, Ingall; Ford (Off 73 mins), Cliff (Off 73 mins); Croall (Off 58 mins), Baines (Off 57 mins), Buckley (Off 58 mins); Kulemin (Off 58 mins), Holmes; Easter, Fihaki (Off 79 mins), Hughes (Off 58 mins).
Replacements: Taylor (On for Baines 57 mins), Harrison (On for Croall 58 mins), Lewis-Roberts (On for Buckley 58 mins), Ostrikov (On for Kulemin 58 mins), Gaskell (On for Hughes 58 mins), Mitchell (On for Cliff 73 mins), Cipriani (On for Ford 73 mins), Brady (On for Fihaki 79 mins).
Scoring sequence: 3-0, HT, 6-0, 6-3, 11-3,13-3, 13-6, 18-6, 20-6
Chairman Gordon McKie comment:.............
Sale Sharks would like to apologise unreservedly for the failure to remove the temporary traffic lights on the approach to the stadium. The stadium management company and contractors have been aware of the fixture being played today since early December and gave their assurances that the lights would be removed by 12 noon on the day of the game. They have not done this which caused significant inconvenience with supporters arriving and leaving the stadium.
Sale Sharks value the continued patience of all our supporters and the matter will be investigated fully over the coming days
|Sale Sharks Score Card|
|Worcester Warriors Score Card|