Premiership: Sale Sharks hold on to claim 24-18 at Wasps

Joe Simpson in action for Wasps
Joe Simpson's try sparked a second-half comeback effort from Wasps
English Premiership
Wasps (8) 18
Tries: Johnson, Simpson Con: Sopoaga Pens: Sopoaga, Miller
Sale (17) 24
Tries: Webber, Solomona, Penalty Cons: De Klerk 2 Pen: De Klerk

Sale withstood a Wasps comeback as they bounced back well from their worst Premiership defeat in eight years.

Tries from Rob Webber, Denny Solomona and a penalty try helped Sharks edge a hard-fought game at the Ricoh Arena.

Ashley Johnson crossed for Wasps in the first half before Joe Simpson's second-half try almost launched a comeback.

But Sale's defence stood strong to avoid Wasps snatching victory as they claimed just their second away win in 10 Premiership games.

The Sharks started the livelier of the two sides following their 67-17 thrashing by Northampton last week, and opened the scoring with a try from hooker Webber.

The visitors then extended their lead when winger Solomona dodged two tackles to score in the corner before Faf de Klerk judged his kick perfectly to make it 14-0.

Wasps replied through skipper Johnson before penalties from Lima Sopoaga and De Klerk made it 17-8 to Sale at half-time.

Wasps gained momentum in the second half and Willie le Roux touched down, only for his try to be ruled out due to a forward pass from Johnson.

Simpson scored soon after, but Sale were handed a penalty try when Nizaam Carr was sin-binned for a high tackle on Solomona.

Steve Diamond's men managed to fight off a late surge in pressure from Wasps, who were unable to complete a comeback.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BBC Radio Coventry:

"You tend to get what you deserve on most occasions and in the first half, we were really poor. Our kick-chase was poor, our exits were poor, our collisions were poor.

"Pretty much we looked a different team second half, and a couple things didn't quite go our way, but you have got to be better than that.

"We certainly back up last week's performance. This week, certainly the first half, we were completely different."

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:

"Faf de Klerk is a world class player. He did a great job and was good off the tee, particularly the one before half-time.

"He was bang on and made the right decision and nailed it.

"In the end, we won the game narrowly so it was really important that he did that. He reads the game well and is a bit of a free spirit."

Wasps: Le Roux; Watson, De Jongh, Lovobalavu, Bassett; Sopoaga, Simpson; Zhvania, Cruse, Stuart, Rowlands, Gaskell, Johnson (capt), Morris, Carr.

Replacements: Taylor, Harris, Alo, Matthews, Willis, Hampson, Miller, Le Bourgeois.

Sin-bin: Nizaam Carr (55).

Sale: L James; Solomona, O'Connor, Van Rensburg, McGuigan; S James, De Klerk; Morozov, Webber, John, Evans, Phillips, Ross (capt), Curry, Beaumont.

Replacements: Langdon, Bristow, Jones, Ostrikov, Neild, Cliff, Redpath, Reed.

Referee: Andrew Jackson.

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