Cipriani leads Sale past Wasps

Date published: January 2 2016

Sale Sharks started the new year with a hard-fought triumph over Wasps as Danny Cipriani's boot helped them to a 15-9 Premiership victory on Saturday.

The match was a war of attrition in the first-half as both sides tried to take the aerial route to victory.

Wasps went into half-time with a slim three-point advantage following a drop-goal from Elliot Daly with the last play of the half.

The Sharks pulled back in the second and got themselves level before taking a lead, the reliable boot of Cipriani matching the equally reliable Jimmy Gopperth during the second-half.

It was Cipriani who had the last laugh, however, the 28-year-old scoring a penalty and a drop-goal in the final ten minutes to give Sale a six point victory, condemning Wasps to a third successive victory.

The hosts rise to seventh with their victory, leapfrogging their opponents who, despite their bonus point, drop to ninth place in the Premiership table.

Cipriani got the first score of the match for Sale, the former Wasps man slotting home a penalty in the fifth minute to give the hosts an early lead.

In the 27th minute the visitors were denied a try by the TMO as it was ruled that it was just short of the line after a fantastic build-up.

Gopperth levelled for Wasps with a penalty in the 31st minute following a Sale offside.

Cipriani tried to restore the hosts' lead a minute later with a drop-goal attempt but it sailed just wide of the mark.

Daly was successful with a drop-goal attempt of his own on the stroke of half-time. This meant that the visitors went in to the break with a 3-6 advantage over the Sharks.

In the 56th minute Cipriani was on target once more to level for Sale with a penalty after a strong scrum from the home side's pack. The fly-half added another penalty in the 64th minute to edge the home side into the lead.

Gopperth drew Wasps level once more with ten minutes to go with a penalty. This was before a long spell of possession saw Sale come to within inches of the try-line. It was to no avail as Peter Stringer's attempted finish was ruled to be just short.

However, Sale found their breakthrough and it was once more through the boot of Cipriani, who scored a penalty in the 74th minute. This was before he added a drop-goal with just two minutes to go which secured a 15-9 victory for the hosts.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Pen: Cipriani 4
Drop: Cipriani

For Wasps:
Pen: Gopperth 2
Drop: Daly

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings.

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Ben Jacobs, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Edd Shervington, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Greg Macdonald
TMO: Trevor Fisher