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Sale Sharks 33 Worcester Warriors 27
12:32pm Monday 31st December 2012 in Trafford Sport
SALE Sharks recorded their second win of the season with a great team performance against Worcester Warriors at the Salford City Stadium on December 28.
Sharks scored three tries including one from Mark Cueto who equalled Steve Hanley's record of 75 Premiership tries.
Worcester built up an early lead with most of the penalties going in their favour and Andy Goode kicked three in the first nine minutes to give the visitors a 0-9 lead.
Sharks were keen to play attacking rugby and quite rightly were scrapping for their lives. Sharks endeavour was rewarded on 21 minutes when big lock Richie Gray crashed over for his first try for the club in front of the South Stand faithful. Danny Cipriani converted and put Sharks back into the hunt at 7-9.
Sharks joy was short lived when, on 26 minutes, Neil Best scored for the visitors after a series of phases near the Sharks line. Andy Goode added the extras and restored warriors nine point lead at 7-16.
Sharks rolled their sleeves up though and almost scored in the corner but the move was halted when Pennell failed to roll away. He was sin binned by referee Wayne Barnes.
Sharks then had most of the play before the break and made the one man advantage count on 37 minutes when James Gaskell scored a try as Sharks exploited a massive overlap. Danny Cipriani's conversion hung in the strong wind but went between the posts to the delight of the home crowd.
Half time Sale Sharks 14 Worcester Warriors 16 Sharks had to make a substitution at the start of the second half when captain David Seymour was not able to continue. James Doyle took his place.
Sharks conceded a penalty within 30 seconds of the restart and Andy Goode put the visitors 14-19 ahead.
Winger Nikki Walker was sin binned on 45 minutes and Danny Cipriani kicked the resultant penalty 17-19.
Sharks started to make their substitutions with Buckley and McKenzie taking the field and the home side went ahead for the first time on 52 minutes with another Cipriani penalty.
Fraser McKenzie was yellow carded on 58 minutes for taking out Semesi Taulava and Andy Goode kicked the resulting penalty to give the visitors a 20-22 lead.
The biggest cheer of the night came on 59 minutes when Mark Cueto finished a great move to equal the Premiership try scoring record. Cipriani converted and Sharks led 27-22.
On 63 minutes referee Wayne Barnes blew his whistle when Marc Jones was left flat out on the pitch. Marc left the field for a few minutes but returned to the field of play.
Danny Cipriani kicked two more penalties and at 33-22 the Sharks were still hungry for a try bonus point.
It wasn't to be though and it was Worcester who scored the final try of the evening when Matt Kvesic scored in the corner. Andy Goode failed to convert.
When the referee blew his whistle the Sale Sharks fans applauded the players off the field, knowing the gap between Sharks and London Irish is now down to one point.
After the game Steve Diamond said, "We are still bottom of the league but we are catching the eleventh spot and that is the target.
"We've got to try and catch London Irish over the next four to five weeks and we're in no doubt that we're in a dog fight until the end of the season. But if we get the commitment and the performance at home like we did tonight I'm sure we stand a chance of survival.
We were looking for the bonus point but we'll take the four. We have got five points from the last two games and they are important small steps for us."
Diamond added, " I would also like to pay tribute to the supporters who were with us every inch of the way. They play such an important role for us both home and away."