Aviva Premiership: Wasps prove too strong for Sale
Last Updated: 23/12/12 6:18pm
Wasps maintained their 100 percent record at Adams Park this season when seeing off Aviva Premiership rivals Sale 25-18.
The bottom side out-scored their hosts two tries to one through efforts from Richie Vernon and Johnny Leota, with only T Rhys Thomas crossing for Wasps.
However, the home side had veteran Welshman Stephen Jones to thank for 14 points from the boot and further penalties from Elliot Daly and Nicky Robinson.
Wasps number eight Billy Vunipola was the star performer, impressing with his powerful running and his ball handling skills, and it was he who set up the crucial try for Thomas with an outstanding piece of play in the second-half.
Jones struck his first penalty after 10 minutes and after Nick MacLeod had failed to level at the other end and after a dominant spell of pressure the former Wales stand-off doubled the advantage.
Rob Miller took over from MacLeod and he duly obliged from halfway and then, out of the blue, Sharks produce a moment of quality to cross first.
Vernon's clever pass sent powerful centre Sam Tuituopou away on a 40-metre break, beating off two defenders in the process. The ball was quickly recycled for Vernon to outflank the cover for the try.
MacLeod missed the extras but Sale had the better of the half with Mark Jennings pulled up just short, and despite that Daly put the hosts back in front at the break from well inside his own half.
Early in the second half, Jones kicked two penalties to one from Miller to extend Wasps' advantage before the hosts scored a splendid try, Vunipola bursting away from a scrum on halfway to elude two defenders on a 50-metre run before being hauled down just short of the line.
But Wasps secured possession for Thomas to crash over for the try which Jones converted to give the home side a healthy 22-11 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Sale showed considerable spirit to have their best passage of play which ended with Wasps wing Christian Wade depriving replacement prop Tony Buckley of a try.
Miller made a hash of a penalty attempt before Robinson gave the home side plenty of leeway with five minutes on the clock...Leota crashing over for a try which Miller converted with the last kick of the game to secure a bonus point for the visitors.