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Sharks edge out Warriors
Sheridan returns to action at Edgeley Park
Nick Macleod kicked five penalties as Andrew Sheridan's first game of the season resulted in a 15-12 victory for Sale over Worcester in the Aviva Premiership.
In a first half dominated by the boot, Worcester deservedly led 9-6 at the break thanks to three Andy Goode penalties compared to Macleod's two.
Although substitute Danny Gray kicked a fourth penalty for the Warriors, three more Macleod three-pointers saw the Sharks emerge victorious with Toulon-bound Sheridan played the whole 80 minutes.
The result moved Sale up to fifth place while Worcester failed in their attempt to gain three successive victories.
It was Sale who started the brighter despite an error-ridden opening, and from a breakdown infringement Macleod kicked a 45-metre penalty.
Worcester prop Matt Mullan signed a new contract yesterday, but against the gargantuan Sheridan, Marc Jones and Tony Buckley, it was the hosts who gained the early initiative in the scrum.
And from a set-piece indiscretion, Sale's fly-half added another three-pointer. However, his opposite number converted one of his own as the Sharks led 6-3.
But in the 14th minute, England international Hendre Fourie reinjured his right shoulder and that seemed to affect the hosts' early momentum.
And despite their early struggles, the impressive Mullan and Tevita Taumoepeau gradually began to assert their dominance for the visitors.
Goode rewarded their forward power by kicking successive three-pointers as the Warriors took the lead for the first time, before the stand-off pulled his hamstring after chasing his own kick through.
The former England player battled through the pain until half-time, but was eventually replaced by Danny Gray at half-time.
After a lacklustre opening period, the match was suddenly sparked into life by a scything break from Sale winger Tom Brady, but the move was ended by a Richie Vernon knock-on in the opposition 22.
And Sale were rewarded for their early second half ambition when they levelled the scores through the boot of Macleod.
With Goode off, the Sharks started to dominate proceedings and flanker Dave Seymour nearly latched on to Shaun Perry's charge-down kick.
It was an incident which summed up an atrocious game of rugby. But the mistake-riddled encounter was not to end there when Johnny Leota's dreadful pass allowed Worcester to build pressure which eventually led to a Gray penalty.
Macleod responded almost immediately with one of his own after Brady had instigated another attack with a fine break before he kicked the winning penalty four minutes from time.
Worcester pressed late on but Gray's drop goal attempt was charged down, although they did earn a deserved losing bonus-point.
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|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:00||Bath vs Exeter|
|14:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|16:30||Harlequins vs Northampton|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale Sharks 18 - 11 Exeter|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com