Sale Sharks bounced back from a hefty opening-weekend defeat to see off Aviva Premiership Rugby new boys Worcester Warriors on home soil.
Sale were beaten 41-3 by reigning champions Saracens in their opener, while the Warriors upset Northampton Saints 13-12 at Sixways.
However, Steve Diamond’s side are notoriously hard to conquer at the AJ Bell Stadium – having lost only once at home in the league in 2015 – and Danny Cipriani got them off to a flying start with the opening try.
Back-row duo David Seymour and Josh Beaumont added further tries either side of the break, before Warriors scrum-half Jonny Arr hit back with a score of his own.
But, while the visitors may have sensed an opportunity to draw level, or even win it, Johnny Leota scored late on to deny them a losing bonus point – and hand the hosts maximum points.
A string of early errors from the Warriors gave Sale the forward momentum as they drove their visitors back and allowed Cipriani to fly over the try line in the seventh minute of play.
Worcester’s first points of the game came after 17 minutes courtesy of Ryan Mills' boot, the 23-year-old firing a mammoth effort between the posts from 50 metres out.
The Warriors were awarded another halfway-line penalty with 12 minutes left in the half and Mills pointed to the posts once more before handing them the lead for the first time.
That lead only lasted a couple of minutes, however, as Seymour grabbed Sale’s second try, capitalising on a five-metre line-out drive to pile over – though Cipriani missed the extras again.
However, the Sale fly-half steadied his nerves from the tee after the clock ticked into the red, tapping over a penalty from in front of the posts to earn a 13-6 lead at the break.
The second half got off to a flying start as Chris Cusiter, Cipriani and Tom Arscott took advantage of Worcester's weak scrum and pelted for the line.
A high ball was intercepted but knocked on by Worcester and Sale capitalised with a try beside the posts for Beaumont, which Cipriani converted with less than four minutes of the half gone.
Worcester sought a way back into the contest and enjoyed a moment of flowing brilliance from Tom Biggs as the match entered its final quarter.
The first threat to the Sale try line led to a Worcester put-in at the scrum on Sale’s five metre line and that pressure finally led to points as Arr popped over for a 65th-minute try, which Ryan Lamb converted.
Sale battered at the Worcester defence, with a fast-moving Arscott taken down inches from the try line; the Sharks unable to add to their seven-point lead as the game entered the last five minutes.
But, as the clock turned red, Sale put together their best attacking play of the half and Leota scored right between the posts – the TMO confirmed the try and Cipriani wrapped things up with the conversion.
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