Sharks seal second win
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 15:00
Returning Cipriani scored 18 points
Mark Cueto equalled Steve Hanley's Premiership all-time try-scoring record to give Sale Sharks a 33-27 win over Worcester Warriors on Friday.
Danny Cipriani, returning to the side after being dropped last week, added 18 points with the boot, as Sale improved on their poor kicking display against Wasps, with James Gaskell and Richie Gray scoring first-half tries to seal Sale’s second victory of the season.
Andy Goode collected 17 points to become Worcester's all-time record points scorer, which along with tries for Neil Best and Aleki Lutui, was not enough for the Warriors.
Former England international Goode got Worcester off the mark in the fifth minute with a routine penalty under the posts after Sale infringed at the breakdown.
The Warriors doubled their lead in the 11th minute as Goode slotted a tricky penalty over the posts from the far left of the pitch, overtaking Shane Drahm's record in the process.
Goode put the away side nine points ahead in the 13th minute after Sale were penalised for collapsing the maul.
Worcester nearly got their first try of the match in the 17th minute but a rampaging Chris Jones was pushed into touch with a fine last-ditch tackle by Rob Miller.
But Sale got the first try of the game in the 21st minute through Scottish international Gray, diving over the line from five metres, converted by Cipriani.
Worcester hit back in the 27th minute with Best breaking through the last line of defence to dive over the whitewash, with Goode slotting a penalty in front of the posts.
The Warriors were down to 14 men after Chris Pennell was sin-binned for the last ten minutes of the half for infringing at the breakdown.
Sale's second try arrived after a period of heavy pressure on the Worcester defensive line, as they switched play to the left for Gaskell to power over the line, with Cipriani converting to make it 14-16.
Goode - who collected 18 points in the reverse fixture at Sixways - increased Worcester's lead straight after the break, with a routine conversion under the posts.
Worcester collected their second yellow card of the evening after Nikki Walker was sin-binned five minutes after the break for intercepting in an offside position. Cipriani successfully converted the resulting penalty to put Sale within two points of the Warriors.
Sale had their noses in front ten minutes later, as Cipriani's long-range kick just had the length to glide over the posts, before Goode missed his first kick of the game minutes later.
Replacement Fraser McKenzie was shown a yellow card after a high tackle on Semisi Taulava in the 63rd minute, with Goode converting the resulting penalty.
But the 14 men of Sale rallied to switch play to the left for Cueto to score in the corner, with Cipriani adding the extras to rapturous applause.
Goode skewed a vital penalty wide of the posts, before Cipriani added two crucial penalties in the last ten minutes.
And although Lutui burrowed over late on, it was not enough for Worcester, who had to settle for a losing bonus point.
With the win, Sale moved to within a point of London Irish before their Big Game 5 clash with Harlequins at Twickenham.
For Sale Sharks
Tries: Gray, Gaskell, Cueto.
Cons: Cipriani 3
Pens: Cipriani 4
For Worcester Warriors
Tries: Best, Kvesic
Pens: Goode 5
Yellow cards: Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors, 29), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors, 46), Fraser McKenzie (Sale Sharks, 56)
Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (captain), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 James Doyle, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Cameron Shepherd.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (captain), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke.
Referee: Wayne Barnes.
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Alan Hughes.
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