Andy Goode scored 18 points as Worcester beat winless Sale 23-16 in Friday's battle between two struggling sides.
Andy Goode scored 18 points as Worcester beat winless Sale 23-16 in a battle between two struggling sides.
Danny Cipriani rewarded the decision to start him at fly-half by creating the opening try of the game in the first five minutes with a pass for Mark Cueto to score after the Sharks had opted to kick for the corner from a penalty.
Veteran fly-half Goode kicked two penalties to Cipriani's one in the opening quarter of an hour though to keep the home side in touch and they hit the front in the final ten minutes of the half.
David Lemi has a reputation for scoring special tries and he produced another superb individual effort at Sixways, beating three or four Sale defenders with a combination of pace and dancing footwork before touching down under the posts.
And former England international Goode added the conversion and a late penalty to give the Warriors a 16-8 lead at the interval.
Sale came out of the blocks quickly in the second half though, just as they had done in the first, and an early Cipriani penalty was followed by a well-worked try in the right-hand corner for Nick Macleod to level scores.
However, Worcester were in no mood to roll over in front of their own fans and, after some typically powerful play from the forwards, Goode spotted an opportunity and dived over in the corner for the try.
The former Leicester and Saracens man stepped up to convert his own try from the touchline and, despite some considerable late pressure from the Sharks, the home side held on to record just the second victory in their last eleven Premiership outings.
Tries: Goode, Lemi
Cons: Goode 2
Pens: Goode 3
Tries: Cueto, Macleod
Pens: Cipriani 2
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Errie Claassens, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan (c).
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 James Currie, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Chris Jones, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.
Sale: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 James Gaskell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Will Addison.
Referee: Greg Garner