Sport & Leisure

Sale Sharks take the sting out of Wasps to record a fine win over the League leaders

By Peter Trollope at

Sale Sharks recorded their finest win of the season by beating Aviva League leaders Wasps – 34-28, which included a hat trick of tries for Denny Solomona.

The emphatic win also yielded a bonus point as Steve Diamond’s side were on top form and raced in to a 31-9 lead shortly after half time.

Danny Cipriani was included in the Wasps team at fly half, but there was no welcome back for the prodigal son as Sale Sharks were determined to avenge the  34-24 defeat at the Ricoh Arena back in November. Sharks hooker Rob Webber, a former Wasps favourite was making his 150th Premiership Appearance.

The Sharks were simply irresistible in the first half as Denny Solomona  scored under the posts after a ruck.  His try created a Premiership record for a player scoring a try in each of his first five games.  And Denny was at the centre of the action.

He created even more magic on 36 minutes with a kick and chase to the line. Solomona won the race and touched down for a wonderful finish. Addison added the two and Sharks were 17-9 ahead.

On 38 minutes Solomona completed his hat trick with a clever offload from Bryn Evans. Will Addison put the icing on the cake with a well struck conversion with the last kick of the half.

Denny is destined to be a hit with Sharks fans

Denny is big hit with Sharks fans

Sharks set off after the break as they finished the first half. From a lineout five metres from the Wasps line the Sharks rolling maul set off towards the line and Mark Jennings touched down under a pile of bodies. Skipper Will Addison lined up the conversion and it was inch perfect 31-9.

From the restart Mike Haley knocked on in front of his own posts and Wasps set the scrum knowing they needed to get a score to help claw their way back. However from the scrum Mark Jennings intercepted a pass and kicked ahead for Solomona to chase. Beale won the contest for the ball due to a bad bounce and cleared the danger.

Steve Diamond praised his side's performance

Steve Diamond praised his side’s performance

Sharks set off after the break as they finished the first half. From a lineout five metres from the Wasps line the Sharks rolling maul set off towards the line and Mark Jennings touched down under a pile of bodies. Skipper Will Addison lined up the conversion and it was inch perfect 31-9.

From the restart Mike Haley knocked on in front of his own posts and Wasps set the scrum knowing they needed to get a score to help claw their way back. However from the scrum Mark Jennings intercepted a pass and kicked ahead for Solomona to chase. Beale won the contest for the ball due to a bad bounce and cleared the danger.

Wasps however scored their first try on 47 minutes through winger Bassett and Gopperth added the conversion 31-16.

Six minutes later Wasps scored their second try through skipper Johnson who finished off from a Wasps overlap on the left. Danny Cipriani took the conversion in the absence of Jimmy Gopperth who was receiving attention for a blood injury. Cipriani’s kick was wide but Wasps were back in it at 31-21.

On 56 minutes referee Carley awarded a penalty for Eastmond being offside. Will Addison called for the kicking cup and booted the ball into the South Stand to calm the nerves somewhat 34-21.

Sharks maintained the pressure and won a scrum 20 metres out from the Wasps line from a knock on. Sharks built through the phases but it ended after Sam James was adjudged to have knocked on just five metres out.

Sharks were playing like men possessed and asking questions of the Aviva League leaders all over the pitch and forcing the visitors into making uncharacteristic mistakes.

And so it remained to give Sale Sharks  a wonderful win, and the feeling among the faithful at the AJ Bell Stadium, that Steve Diamond’s men have turned the corner, and who knows where it will take them on this sort of form.

Final Score Sale Sharks 34 Wasps 28

  1. Mike Haley, 14. Denny Solomona, 13. Will Addison, 12. Mark Jennings, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Sam James, 9. Mike Phillips, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Halani Aulika, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. George Nott, 6. TJ Ioane, 7. Magnus Lund, 8. Josh Beaumont
  2. Cameron Neild (on for TJ Ioane, 49), 17. James Flynn, 18. Kieran Longbottom (on for Halani Aulika, 66), 19. Tom Curry, 20. Ben Curry (on for George Nott, 59), 21. Peter Stringer (on for Mike Phillips, 69), 22. AJ MacGinty, 23. Johnny Leota (on for Mark Jennings, 70)