Rugby Union

Wasps earn bonus-point win against Sale

Aviva Premiership
Wasps (22) 34
Tries: Cipriani, Johnson 2, Miller 2 Cons: Gopperth 3 Pen: Gopperth
Sale (3) 24
Tries: Evans 2, Haley Cons: MacGinty 2, Arscott Pen: MacGinty

Rob Miller scored two tries in two minutes in the second half as Wasps secured a bonus-point win over Sale.

The hosts were dominant in the first half and two Ashley Johnson tries, along with one from Danny Cipriani, helped them to lead 22-3 at half-time.

Bryn Evans’ early second-half try reduced the deficit to 12 points.

But two quick Miller tries proved vital in securing Wasps a fifth successive league win at home, despite Evans and Mike Haley going over for the Sharks.

It was a quiet afternoon for Sale wing Josh Charnley, who made his first Premiership appearance since his cross-code switch from Wigan Warriors.

AJ MacGinty put the visitors ahead with a penalty but from then on it was one-way traffic in Wasps’ favour.

Cipriani, facing his former club on his 150th Premiership appearance, powered over for the home side’s first try before Johnson crossed twice in 11 minutes.

Relentless pressure from the hosts saw Johnson go over for his first, and he then ran in his second at pace as Wasps took full control.

The visitors made a great start to the second half as TJ Ioane fed Evans to run in, but Miller – another former Sale player – powered in from 30 metres to seal the bonus point and was then set up by Dan Robson from the restart.

Evans capitalised on Cipriani’s wayward kick for his second try and Haley danced through a gap in the Wasps defence, but it came too late as Sale were beaten for a fifth time this season.

Wasps climb above Bath, who lost at Harlequins, into second place in the Premiership.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:

“I always felt we were in control but it wasn’t fantastic.

“Although we were good in patches, I’m disappointed we gave away so many points in the second half.

“Sale were a dogged team but the introduction of our replacements caused us to become disjointed.”

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:

“At one stage it looked like we’d concede a huge score but we did well to get back into it.

“Their first try was definitely controversial but fair play to Wasps, they did enough in the first half to put us away and Ashley Johnson is certainly a top-class player.

“A few of the players made too many errors, as they’ve been doing too frequently in recent games, and we need to eradicate them.”

Wasps: Miller; Wade, Eastmond, Gopperth, Halai; Cipriani, Simpson; Mullan (capt), Taylor, Moore, Symons, Myall, Johnson, Young, Rieder.

Replacements: Willis, Bristow, Swainston, Rowlands, Gaskell, Robson, Leiua, Howe.

Sale Sharks: Haley; Addison, James, Tuitupou, Charnley MacGinty, Phillips; Harrison, Briggs, Mujati, Evans, Ostrikov, Neild, Seymour, Beaumont (capt).

Replacements: Webber, Flynn, Aulika, Neild, T Curry, Stringer, Jennings, Arscott.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).

For the latest rugby union news follow @bbcrugbyunion on Twitter.

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