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|Home team||Away Team|
|33 - 27||
- Aviva Premiership
- 28th Dec 2012
- KO 20:00
- Ground: Salford City Stadium
- Att: 6,347
Aviva Premiership: Struggling Sale Sharks defeat Worcester Warriors
Sale closed the gap on nearest rivals London Irish at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership table with a hard-fought 33-27 victory over Worcester.
The Sharks trailed 9-0 and then 16-7 at Salford City Stadium but battled back in a feisty encounter to claim just their second league triumph of the season so far, meaning they are now only a point adrift at the foot of the standings.
An 18-point haul from the recalled Danny Cipriani complimented tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and Mark Cueto, whose score saw him draw level with former team-mate Steve Hanley's all-time Premiership record of 75.
Former England international Andy Goode kicked three penalties to put the Warriors into an early lead before Sale grabbed the opening try, Gray forcing his way over through a pack of bodies.
Yet Worcester hit back with a try of their own, Matt Kvesic's simple offload sending fellow flanker Neil Best burrowing over the line from close range.
Goode converted with ease to put the visitors nine points clear again, but the momentum turned when they lost full-back Chris Pennell to the sin-bin for holding down.
Sale closed the gap with a well-worked score for Gaskell and although Goode kicked a penalty two minutes into the second half, the Warriors again found themselves down to 14 when winger Nikki Walker was punished for a deliberate knock-on.
Cipriani kicked the resulting penalty and a further three points from his boot in the 54th minute put his team in front for the first time on the night.
That lead didn't last too long; Sale replacement Fraser McKenzie was sin-binned within a minute of his introduction for flattening Semisi Taulava, allowing Goode to knock over his fifth penalty and edge Worcester back in front.
However, Sale managed to find a crucial try when still a man light, Gray and Richie Vernon combining to send Cueto scampering over in the left corner. Cipriani landed a fine conversion to put Sale 27-22 in front, before two further penalties from the number 10 opened up a comfortable cushion.
In the end the Sharks needed those points, a scrappy late try in the right corner from replacement Matt Kvesic - which Goode failed to convert - meaning the Warriors had to settle for only a losing bonus point.
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|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle Falcons 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester Tigers 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle Falcons 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com