Aviva Premiership: Late penalty gives Sale Sharks victory over London Wasps
Last Updated: 04/05/13 5:11pm
A 75th-minute penalty from Nick Macleod sealed a 21-20 win for Sale Sharks over London Wasps at Salford City Stadium.
Neither Sale nor Wasps were playing for anything other than pride, but they served up an entertaining contest.
Tom Brady and Dan Braid went over for the Sharks in an exciting first period while Christian Wade added to his burgeoning reputation with yet another try.
Nick Macleod kicked two penalties after the interval to go with his earlier conversion, but Wade's second score aided by 10 points from the boot of Tommy Bell gave Dai Young's men a 20-18 advantage late on.
It was not to be for the visitors, though, as Macleod kicked his third three-pointer five minutes from time to snatch the win.
Steve Diamond's men opened the scoring when a fine move ended in Brady touching down. Scrum-half Dwayne Peel was the instigator and two wrap-around moves with Marc Jones and Kearnan Myall freed the space for Braid to send the left-winger over.
However, the visitors' response was swift and the pressure eventually led to a penalty which half-back Joe Simpson took quickly. His sniping instincts took him past the home side's first-up defence and Wade was on his shoulder to finish superbly.
It was the 24-year-old's 12th Premiership try of the season, which will surely see him in Stuart Lancaster's England squad to face Argentina in June.
But throughout the opening period, Wasps struggled to deal with the blustery conditions and from a lineout the Sharks pack drove over the top and Braid was on hand to touch down from close range. Macleod was on target from the tee as they went into the break with a 12-7 advantage.
Sale started the second half like they finished the first, dominating the close-quarter exchanges and looking to get their strike runners over the gain-line but a penalty was all they had to show for their efforts.
And the Sharks were made to pay for their profligacy when, with their first attack of the half, Wade went over for his second of the afternoon.
It was Hugo Southwell who made the initial incursion before Chris Bell took the ball up further. The play was shifted wide for the wing to cross the whitewash.
Macleod and Tommy Bell then traded penalties before the latter put Wasps into a 20-18 lead with seven minutes to go.
However, Sale's fly-half was the hero when his third penalty bisected the uprights with five minutes left.
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 22
Lyn Jones admits he would like to remain loyal to relegated London Welsh, but the club's board must match his ambitions.
Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea is already looking forward to an "incredibly exciting" play-off semi-final at Leicester.
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill admits his side will have to be "dead, dead right" to beat Harlequins next weekend.