Wasps managed to hold off a spirited fightback from Sale to record a 33-26 result in their Aviva Premiership clash at Adams Park.
Wasps managed to hold off a spirited fightback from Sale to record a 33-26 result in an entertaining Aviva Premiership clash at Adams Park.
23 points from the boot of departing fly-half Dave Walder inspired their first win in six and finally put to bed their worst run since the 2001/02 season.
After looking down and out in the first period, to their credit, Sale fought back to garner a potentially vital losing bonus-point as they battle to avoid relegation.
In an opening half dominated by the metronomic boot of the Japan-bound Walder, the stand-off opened the scoring with a penalty.
The much more efficient home side then took advantage of Sharks' ill-discipline as Walder kicked two more three pointers to extend their lead.
Sale looked to move the ball at virtually every opportunity, but they came up against strong Wasps defence and their fly-half scored yet another penalty.
A yellow card for tighthead prop Henry Thomas for persistent infringements put Sale deeper into trouble, and Walder kicked the resultant three points to put them over two converted tries clear.
However, the Greater Manchester side hit back through winger Ben Cohen, fly-half Charlie Hodgson converting. Hodgson then brought Sale to within losing bonus-point territory, but a Walder drop-goal eased the nerves before the best move of the match resulted in a converted try for centre Riki Flutey.
Winger Richard Haughton then fed scrum-half Joe Simpson for another fine score. But Sale refused to lie down and after lock Wame Lewaravu had touched down, Hodgson salvaged a crucial bonus-point for the away side with a final penalty.
Tries: Flutey, Simpson
Drop: Walder 6
Tries: Cohen, Lewaravu
Con: Hodgson 2
Pen: Hodgson 4
Wasps: 15 Richard Haughton, 14 Ben Jacobs, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Joe Worsley, 6 John Hart, 5 Richard Birkett (c), 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements:16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Bob Baker, 18 Zak Taulafo, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 James Cannon, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Mark van Gisbergen, 23 Andy Powell
Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Kyle Tonetti, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Sisaro Koyamaibole 7 Neil McMillan, 6 James Gaskell (c), 5 Sean Cox, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Lee Imiolek,
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Jack Forster, 19 Wame Lewaravu, 20 Nic Rouse, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Paul Williams.
Referee: Dave Pearson
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Roy Maybank