Last-gasp Sale sting Wasps
Charlie Hodgson converted a late Mark Cueto try to secure Sale a narrow 13-12 victory over Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday.
Last Updated: 23/11/08 7:29pm
Charlie Hodgson converted a late Mark Cueto try to secure Sale a narrow 13-12 win over Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday.
The Londoners had looked set for a hard-fought home triumph courtesy of four penalties from the boot of fly-half Dave Walder.
But winger Cueto popped up four minutes from time to claim the only try of the game and Hodgson held his nerve to land the subsequent conversion from in front of the posts to seal victory.
In a match when the respective packs very much dominated, points and opportunities were at a premium throughout.
Walder opened the scoring in the seventh minute with the first of his penalties following a mistake from Sale full-back Nick MacLeod.
The Wasps pack began to dominate and good work in the breakdown gave Walder another opportunity just three minutes later to establish a 6-0 lead.
Hodgson responded in kind to cut the deficit, but Walder slotted his third in the 20th minute to restore the six-point advantage.
Both sides were then reduced to 14 men as Richard Birkett and Dean Schofield were sin-binned, but it was Wasps who continued to do the pressing only for Sale's resilience defence to show exactly why they did not concede a try for the first four games of the season.
A further exchange of penalties just before the break ensured that Wasps headed in at the interval with a 12-6 lead.
Sale finally began to make an impression in their opponents' 22 after half-time but mistakes ensured a try was not forthcoming with Hodgson also missing a kickable penalty to sum up an increasingly error-strewn encounter.
A George Skivington breakaway threatened to bring the game to life but a monumental Sale defensive effort fought off yet another attack and Walder's normally reliable boot then faltered as he missed two chances to increase the lead.
It was to prove very costly four minutes from as Cueto took advantage of some sloppy home defending to ghost through a couple of tackles and touch down under the sticks, leaving Hodgson to clinch the spoils with his conversion.
Wasps did engineer one final opportunity as they set up a platform on the Sale 22, but Walder dragged his attempted drop-goal wide of the posts and the Sharks hung on.