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- Aviva Premiership
- 31st Jan 2009
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Sixways Stadium
- Att: 10,387
Sharks earn Sixways bonus
Bell's late try secures maximum points for visitors at Worcester
Sale Sharks gave their Guinness Premiership title ambitions a boost with a 37-20 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways.
Chris Bell's 78th-minute try, the Sharks' fourth, earned the visitors a bonus point and moves them up to third in the table.
Sale's other tries were scored by Chris Jones, Oriol Ripol and Neil Briggs, while fly-half Charlie Hodgson added 17 points with the boot.
Worcester scored a try at either end of the game through Chris Latham and Marcel Garvey but largely failed to find their best form and suffered a major blow when Latham's participation was ended by a neck injury after 16 minutes.
Sale, who lost 19-7 to Worcester at Edgeley Park in November, were without star players Andrew Sheridan, Mark Cueto and Luke McAlister.
Hodgson opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty but the hosts hit back immediately, Joe Carlisle putting Latham into a gap and the Australian full-back powering past two defenders for an excellent solo try.
Carlisle added the additional two points but was off-target with a penalty attempt shortly afterwards.
Just past the quarter-of-an-hour mark Latham had to be stretchered off with his neck in a brace after being injured in a maul. He was taken to hospital for scans after temporarily losing feeling in his arms and legs and is believed to have suffered a neck ligament problem.
Soon afterwards the Warriors thought they had scored a second try but Kai Horstmann's effort was ruled out for crossing in the build-up.
Sale got back within one at 7-6 when Hodgson kicked his second penalty, which had been awarded when Horstmann was yellow carded for deliberately killing the ball on the floor.
Sale lost Sebastian Chabal to a shoulder injury but it made little difference as they went on a run of 10 quick points - Hodgson dropping a simple goal and then converting a try from Jones, who drove over from close range.
Horstmann returned from the sin-bin in time to see Carlisle land a 40-metre penalty to reduce Worcester's deficit to 16-10 at the interval.
Carlisle brought his side back within three with another penalty two minutes after the restart.
But a poor kick from Rico Gear surrendered possession to Sale, who took full advantage by building up a period of pressure which culminated in Ripol's try. Hodgson converted to open a 10-point lead with half-an-hour to go.
The Sharks lost Jones to a head injury six minutes later, David Tait coming on as a replacement.
Sale put the game beyond Worcester's reach when Carlisle's attempt to run from inside his own 22 saw his pass intercepted by Briggs, who returned it for a converted try.
With nine minutes to go Garvey finished off a splendid Worcester move for their second try, converted from the touchline by Carlisle.
Sale, however, had the last word when Bell crossed two minutes from time to secure a bonus point and Hodgson added the conversion for a 20-point winning margin.
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|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Saturday 28th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|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 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|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|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com