Sharks ease fears with vital victory
March 19, 2010
Richard Wigglesworth was the hero for Sale
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Sale have eased their relegation fears with a hard-fought 19-8 victory over Wasps at Edgeley Park.
Saracens-bound scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth struck the decisive blow with a second-half try and also landed a late penalty while fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked 11 points in an excellent individual display.
Wasps, who again left Danny Cipriani among the replacements, conjured a try through centre Ben Jacobs but were far from their best.
The result moves Sale level on points with Leeds and sends Worcester to the bottom of the table, Mike Ruddock's side two points adrift after 16 rounds of action.
Hodgson was this week called into the England squad as cover for Jonny Wilkinson but Sale were thankful for his availability as he steered them to a first win in eight attempts. In a game rearranged after Wasps refused to play the fixture in November due to a waterlogged pitch, Sale had far too much desire for the visitors, who have also lost to lowly Leeds twice this season.
Hodgson notched the opening points when Wasps were penalised for infringing at a scrum just inside their own half in the sixth minute but the Sharks were thankful for some loose handling by David Lemi as the Wasps wing squandered two openings.
Dave Walder missed a penalty for the visitors and was punished by Hodgson, who landed two penalties either side of Sale having a try disallowed to secure a 9-0 half-time lead.
Cipriani replaced Walder at half-time and the future Melbourne Rebel was involved as some slick handling sent Jacobs over. The conversion was not forthcoming and Wasps were further behind when Wigglesworth pounced on a loose pass to score, the No.9 also landing a late three-pointer to seal the points.