Sale Sharks fell to another Aviva Premiership defeat as they lost out 25-18 against London Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday.
Sale Sharks fell to yet another Aviva Premiership defeat as they lost 25-18 against London Wasps at Adams Park.
The hosts headed into the clash on the back of a morale-boosting victory over Bayonne, while Sale had been thumped by Toulon just a week earlier.
But the visitors showed plenty of heart despite falling behind to Stephen Jones' touchline penalty on ten minutes. 3-0 then became 6-0 twelve minutes later when Jones hit the target from long range following an infringement at the scrum.
Rob Miller got Sale's first points a few minutes later with a well-struck penalty, after he'd missed the chance to level the scores earlier in the game.
The Sharks then hit the front on 27 minutes when Sam Tuitupou burst through before feeding Richie Vernon for a great try. The conversion was missed though, and Elliot Daly's penalty in the closing minutes of the first half put Wasps back in front.
Two further penalties from Jones early in the second half put Wasps further in front, though the two strikes were sandwiched around a second three-pointer from Miller, which kept the Sharks within an unconverted try.
The pivotal score came on 52 minutes and in some style. Thomas was the man to get over the line but it was Billy Vunipola's sublime sidestep that created the opening for his team-mate to cross. Jones' conversion made it 22-11 and it remained that way until the dying minutes, when Nick Robinson's penalty put 14 between the two teams.
Johnny Leota crossed for a late consolation try, converted by Miller, to secure a deserved losing bonus point for Sale, though Wasps emerged as worthy winners at Adams Park.
Pen: Jones 4, Daly, Robinson
Tries: Vernon, Leota
Pen: Macleod, Miller
Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Elliot Daly, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 James Cannon, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Chris Mayor.
Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Tom Brady.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andrew Watson, Andrew Pearce
Television match official: Geoffrey Warren