Sale Sharks travelled to Adams Park for the second time in six weeks, hopeful of qualifying for the semi final stages of the LV=Cup. Both sides had players absent due to International call ups and Sharks Director of Rugby decided to give Captain David Seymour a well deserved week off. Sharks backline was unchanged following last weeks win over Scarlets.
Sale had only progressed to the knockout stages once, back in 2007 when they lost to Leicester Tigers in the semi finals.
With London Irish losing at Cardiff the night before Sharks knew what they had to do to get a home semi final.
Things got off to a bad start though when Wasps centre Charlie Hayter making his debut dashed in between the sticks after a scrum on Sharks 10metre line gave the hosts quick ball. Stephen Jones converted 7-0
Henry Thomas was spoken to by the referee shortly afterwards for what the Touch Judge thought was a tip tackle.
The hosts went 10-0 up with a Stephen Jones penalty from 35metres.
This seemed to wake Sharks up and a rolling maul on that started on Wasps 22metre line ended with referee Rose awarding Sale a penalty try on 16 minutes. Cipriani converted 10-7.
Five minutes later Kearnan Myall finished a great series of phases from Sharks with a try, again Cipriani converted. 10-14.
Two penalties by Stephen Jones and Tommy Bell gave Wasps a half time lead which in fairness the home club didn't deserve.
Sharks went off at half time knowing they needed two more tries and a winning margin to give them a potential home semi final
Half Time Wasps 16 Sale Sharks 14
After the break Sharks enjoyed a real purple patch with three tries in eight minutes. On 42 minutes Sammy Tuitupou finished off a great rolling maul and touched down, three minutes later Tommy Taylor took a pass from Dan Braid and burst through the defence shaking off tackles to score and on 50 minutes Danny Cipriani, back at Adams Park scored a wonderful solo effort. Danny converted Sammy and Tommy's tries but narrowly failed to convert his own. This gave Sharks a 16-33 lead.
Wasps were far from finished and both Davies and Jones scored late tries with former Shark Tommy Bell converting both. Sharks finished with 14 men when Aston Croall was yellow carded by Referee Rose on 78mins.
Sharks held out to the end and the five point bonus point win earned them a home semi final in March
Team 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Rob Miller, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou Captain, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Tom Holmes, 5 Kearnan Myall, 6 James Doyle, 7 Dan Braid, 8 James Gaskell
Replacements 16 Marc Jones (replaced Taylor 60), 17 Aston Croall (replaced Harrison 60), 18 Tony Buckley (Replaced Thomas 60), 19 Tom Cruse, 20 Billy Emerson (Replaced Myall 60), 21 Will Cliff (Replaced Peel 69), 22 Jordan Davies, 23 Charlie Ingall (Replaced Shepherd 69)
Referee David Rose
Scoring sequence (Hosts Wasps First)5-0, 7-0, 10-0, 10-5,10-7, 10-12,10-14,13-14,16-14 (Half Time) 16-19,16-21,16-26,16-28, 16-33, 21-33,23-33,28-33,30-33
|London Wasps Score Card|
|Sale Sharks Score Card|