Sale Sharks secured a semi-final spot in the LV= Cup after Danny Cipriani inspired them to a bonus-point 33-30 win against his old club London Wasps.
The Sharks ran in five tries in all, Cirpriani going over himself in addition to a penalty score and tries from Kearnan Myall, Sam Tuitupou and Tommy Taylor.
Wasps threatened a comeback late on but the damage was done when Charlie Davies and Will Taylor were both sent to the sin bin either side of the interval, prompting a Sale three-try barrage.
Cipriani missed the Aviva Premiership fixture between the two sides before Christmas after being dropped but bounced back in style to show his former employers what they are missing.
Sale’s hopes took an early hit when a Wasps scrum led to captain Sam Jones passing to Charlie Davies, whose ball inside sent Charlie Hayter through for a try on his home debut.
Stephen Jones added the simple conversion before the former Wales and Lions fly-half added a penalty in front of the posts to take the score to 10-0.
But the Sharks hit back when they were awarded a penalty try as a powerful maul was illegally dragged down by the Wasps pack with Cipriani knocking over the extras.
Five minutes later, the visitors turned the match on its head with Myall barging his way over from close range following another drive towards the line by Sale’s forwards.
Cipriani’s conversion was a success but the gap was soon reduced back down to one point at 13-14 thanks to a Jones penalty.
The Sharks were causing some problems for themselves with poor kicking from hand, one of which almost cost them their lead with Jones’ next penalty striking a post.
They were not so lucky four minutes before half-time, however, with Tommy Bell striking a superb effort from just inside the Sale half to put Wasps ahead.
But the momentum swung dramatically back towards the away side early in the second half when the hosts had Taylor sent to the sin bin.
From the resulting line-out, yet another maul surged its way over the line with Sale skipperTuitupou emerging with the ball.
Three minutes later, the Sharks had the bonus point in the bag when hooker Taylor charged clear after being played in by Henry Thomas – Cipriani’s conversion taking the score to 16-28.
With half an hour still to play, the visitors pulled further clear again with Cipriani rounding off a superb move to score in the left-hand corner.
Wasps pulled one score back with ten minutes left when Davies picked up from the back of a strong five-metre scrum, cut inside and touched down.
After Sale had Aston Croall sin-binned, the hosts then had the last word with the final play when Jones went over but Sale were not to be denied.