This was the fifth time that -the sides have met this season alone, with the Sharks winning the previous four encounters in the LV= Cup, Amlin Challenge Cup and the Aviva Premiership itself. Today was a special encounter for Mark Cueto, as he made his 200th appearance in the Premiership as a Sale Sharks player and has to date scored 84 tries. He was looking to extend that record against a Warriors side that had lost their last 19 Premiership games heading into the game today.
The game started off brightly for the Sharks as Danny Cipriani kicked off towards the North Stand and gained an early penalty. Cipriani stood up to take it and he got it to give them the early lead 0-3.
A super break from David Seymour and Sam Tuitupou gave the Sharks some great momentum as the side went into the 22. The ball was carried on by the forwards, before it was passed out to the left wing, and Mark Cueto went over to score a try on his 200th appearance. Cipriani missed the conversion to make the scores 0-8 after 7minutes.
Sale dominated the early proceedings, and gained another penalty after the Worcester defence failed to release Dwayne Peel following a quick penalty taken by the scrum half following a previous infringement. From halfway, Cipriani kicked for goal and got it. The score was 0-11 after 13 minutes.
After a sluggish start, Worcester got back into the game, following a great break from Jonny Arr and the Sharks were penalised for being offside. Worcester full-back Chris Pennell stepped up to kick it and he dragged it wide after 18minutes.
After 22minutes, Vadim Cobilas was penalised at the scrum by referee Tom Wigglesworth. Pennell stepped up again and it again went wide and missed.
Worcester started to fight back, and Sale gave away two successive penalties in a quick period of time. Both occasions the Warriors try to catch and drive but the Sharks defence remains strong and they eventually force the knock on.
The home side started to apply more pressure, and Dwayne Peel helps stop want seemed to be a certain try for Worcester. The Warriors attack out wide, but some great work on the floor from captain Dan Braid helps the Sharks gained a penalty as Worcester hold on to the ball.
Dwayne Peel came off with a groin injury and is replaced by Will Cliff on 33 minutes.
A Danny Cipriani error in his own 22 led to the Warriors trying to attack towards the end of the first half and they thought they had scored when hooker Agustin Creevy went over and scored. That decision was referred to the TMO, and he decided that the ball was held up. A 5m scrum was awarded and after a few reset scrums, the front row put a huge surge on and gained the penalty.
Half time came with the scores at 0-11 to the Sharks
Worcester kicked off the second half with everything to play for, wanting to put an end to their horrendous record.
The Sharks started the second half, almost how they started the first: dominating the early scrums as they gain a penalty.
They had an early attack, following a few good carries from the pack including Marc Jones and Vadim Cobilas, but Will Cliff knocks on as he tried to pick up the ball from the ruck. However, the Sharks put on a huge shove on at the scrum to put pressure on the Worcester pack and they earn a penalty right in front of the posts. Cipriani kicks a very easy kick to make the scores 0-14 after 46minutes.
Following a number of scrum penalties to the away side, Sale scored their second try of the game, from Dan Braid as he burrowed his way over the line following a number of pick and goes. Danny Cipriani converts to make the scores 0-21 after 55minutes.
Worcester seemed to wake up after this, and after Vadim Cobilas was penalised at a scrum, the Warriors try and maul the ball on but the Sharks brought it down and see out the attack and Worcester go into touch.
The Warriors eventually find their way over the try line, much to their perseverance, thanks to Mariano Galarza. Chris Pennell misses the conversion to make the scores 5-21 after 65minutes.
Sale settled down again after the try being scored, and Worcester conceded a penalty on 68minutes, just inside on the 22. Nick Macleod takes over the kicking duties, with Cipriani being off, and he carried on where Cips left off and gets it. The scores heading into the last 10 minutes was 5-24.
Credit to the Worcester Warriors side, they did not give up heading into the last 10 minutes, as they wanted to try and gain something from the game. They had another attack heading into the Sharks 22, but one of the forwards knocked on the ball just before the tryline.
Warriors replacement scrum-half Jeremy Su'a made a super break following a quick tapped penalty but is brought up short of the line. A few phases later, the ball is passed to Mariano Galarza and he again burrows his way over, which is confirmed by the TMO. Lamb converts to make the scores 12-24 heading into the last minute.
The final whistle went and the Sharks took a good four point win heading into next week's trip to London Wasps.
Sale Sharks Tom Arscott, Tom Brady, Johnny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas, Jonathan Mills, Michael Paterson, Dan Braid, David Seymour, James Gaskell
Replacements Tommy Taylor (on for Jones 65mins), Ross Harrison (on for Roberts 65mins), Tony Buckley (on for Cobilas 65mins), Viliami Fahiki (On for Mills 69mins), Mark Easter (on for Braid 65), Will Cliff (on for Peel 33mins), Nick Macleod (on forCipriani 65), Mark Jennings (on for Tuitupou 65 mins)
Scoring Sequence (Sale first) 3-0, 8-0, 11-0, (HT) 14-0, 19-0, 21-0, 21-5, 24-5, 24-10, 24-12 (FT)
|Worcester Warriors Score Card|
|Sale Sharks Score Card|