Cipriani leads Sale to victory over London Wasps

Danny Cipriani scored a try and kicked 16 points to help Sale Sharks to a 26-22 Aviva Premiership victory over London Wasps at AJ Bell Stadium.

Sharks earned their first home victory of the season to leave the visitors
winless in three starts this term.

The return of Cipriani to the Sharks line-up, as a first-half replacement for
Nick Macleod, saw Sale open up play after an opening period which was punctured
by handling errors and reset scrums.

Sale had the better of the opening phase of the game, although Wasps’ Sam Jones
was potent with his runs at the Sharks defensive line.

Cipriani’s introduction for the injured Macleod after only 20 minutes compounded
the home side’s injury-hit squad, as James Gaskell and Dwayne Peel succumbed
to late call-offs in the build-up to the game.

But the replacement fly-half kicked his side into the lead, with a penalty
only minutes after entering the play.

That only lasted a matter of seconds as Andy Goode kicked Wasps level, before
Mark Cueto’s burst into the Wasps half brought a sustained period of pressure
on the Wasps line, including a drive over the line which failed to score, after
the TMO adjudged the ball to have been held up.

Premiership record try scorer Cueto eventually powered through to score, after
a neat reverse pass from Cipriani, and after the conversion, Sale led 10-3.

With another successful Cipriani penalty a minute before the break, Sale took
a ten point advantage into half-time.

The home side started well in the second half, with Cipriani diving over for
his first try of the season after 47 minutes, and with the conversion, Sale
led 20-3.

But Wasps were able to come back with a try of their own, and after a great
driving maul, Ashley Johnson was able to drop down.

With Goode converting, the difference was back to ten points. Cipriani’s third
penalty of the night – a kick from the Wasps ten metre line – stretched the
lead once more, with twenty minutes to play.

Wasps were given a lifeline with a converted penalty try, after a maul was
brought down, and with a six point difference, the visiting side had the possibility
of a first win of the season in their sights.

After the Wasps back line stretched the Sale defence, Josh Bassett was able
to go over in the corner, but Goode missed the conversion attempt, and with
it, the chance for their first win of the season.

That near-miss galvanised Sale, who held on to the majority of possession for
the remainder of the game long enough to earn a last-minute penalty which that
man Cipriani duly converted, leaving Wasps looking up at the rest of the pack
with three losses from three.

Final Score Sale Sharks (13) 26 London Wasps (3) 22

Scorers

Sale Sharks
Tries: Cueto, Cipriani
Cons: Cipriani 2
Pens: Cipriani 4

London Wasps
Tries: Johnson, Penalty try, Bassett
Cons: Goode 2

Match Officials
Referee
: Andrew Small (88th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Gareth Copsey
TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Teams

Sale Sharks

Tom Arscott, Rob Miller, Mark Cueto, Andy Forsyth, Tom Brady, Nick Macleod, Dwayne Peel, Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor, Henry Thomas, Kirill Kulemin, Michael Paterson, Dan Braid Captain, David Seymour, James Gaskell

Replacements Marc Jones, Eifion Lewis Roberts, Vadim Cobilas, Johnathan Mills, Josh Beaumont, Will Cliff, Danny Cipriani, Phil Mackenzie.

London Wasps

15 . Andrea Masi , 14 . Christian Wade , 13 . Ben Jacobs , 12 . Chris Bell (C) , 11 . Josh Bassett , 10 . Andy Goode , 9 . Charlie Davies , 8 . Ed

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