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Match Report: Wasps 34 Sale Sharks 24

27 Nov 2016
Match Report: Wasps 34 Sale Sharks 24

Rob Miller scored two tries in as many minutes to get Wasps back to winning ways against a Sale Sharks side who refused to bow down to a Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat.

The visitors broke the deadlock when AJ MacGinty scored three from the tee in the opening stages of the game, before Danny Cipriani swung the game in Wasps’ favour with the first try of the afternoon.

Two tries from Ashley Johnson plus Miller’s brace ensured the spoils would be remaining at the Ricoh Arena, despite Bryn Evans scoring two of his own for the Sharks in the second half.

But thanks to Jimmy Gopperth’s expertise from the tee, Dai Young’s men were able to hold on to their lead for the bonus point win.

It was the visitors who took the initial lead when they won a penalty inside the half, allowing MacGinty to knock over for three points to capitalise on their early domination.

But their advantage wasn’t to last as Wasps weathered the storm to cross the whitewash two minutes later, Cipriani  with the honours against his old club following a fine break from Christian Wade and Thomas Young in the centre of the park, before Gopperth converted.

Gopperth added three more to his tally when the Sharks were penalised for offside inside their own 22, opting for the posts to extend Wasps’ advantage to 10-3.

The hosts’ continued pressure reaped its rewards when Johnson dotted down on 24 minutes, the try being awarded after facing a TMO, before Gopperth added the extras.

Johnson got his second score of the game five minutes before the interval when he stormed over the line following good play from Gopperth and Kyle Eastmond in the build-up, only for Cipriani to miss from the tee on his 150th Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance.

The Sharks came out after the break all guns blazing, and got their first try of the game just two minutes from the restart, Evans finding space to sprint 25 metres before crossing in the corner, with MacGinty adding two from the tee.

Wasps battled to regain control in the ensuing minutes, with the Sharks twice repelling their attacks before winning a penalty in their own 22, Cipriani clearing to take them to halfway.

Just after the hour mark, Wasps reinstated their 19-point gap when Miller beat his man to race over the line for the bonus point, before Gopperth added the conversion.

And Miller got his second just two minutes later when Dan Robson fed him the ball after breaking from a high ball to cross over, though Gopperth missed from the tee on this occasion.

But the visitors soon took the ball to the other end, adding another converted try of their own through Evans once more, who took advantage of a sliced chip from Cipriani to run over unchallenged.

Wasps were forced to run down the last five minutes of the game with 14 men after Wade was helped off the field by physios, making for a nervy ending when Mike Haley capitalised on a moment of weakness from the hosts to score under the posts, Tom Arscott converting to make it 34-24.

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