Former Sale players sting old side as Wasps run out comfortable winners
Wasps maintained their impressive form at the Ricoh Arena with a comfortable 34-24 win over Sale.
It was Wasps' 16th home win of 2016 as they continue to remain unbeaten at the venue with Sale never looking likely to end that record as they were flattered by two late converted tries.
Man of the Match Ashley Johnson playing back as a flanker, revelled in that role by scoring two tries with Danny Cipriani, one of four ex-Sharks playing against their former side, scoring the opening try.
Another, Rob Miller, scored two second-half tries with Jimmy Gopperth kicking a penalty and three conversions.
Bryn Evans scored two tries for Sale and Mike Haley one with A.J. MacGinty kicking a penalty and two conversions. Tom Arscott added a conversion.
Sale made a sharp start and deservedly took an eighth minute lead with a penalty from MacGinty but Wasps responded in style.
A kick from Mike Phillips went too far and this allowed Wasps to counter-attack with a flowing movement. Thomas Young made a crucial contribution before Cipriani squeezed through a gap to put his side on the scoreboard.
Gopperth converted and kicked a penalty to give Wasps a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter before they suffered a setback when Christian Wade was tackled heavily and left the field for a head assessment.
Tom Howe replaced him in time to see Wasps score their second try when Johnson forced his way over with Gopperth's conversion giving the home side a healthy advantage.
Wade returned and it was Sale's turn to lose a player when lock, Andrei Ostrikov, was forced to leave the field to be replaced by Cameron Nield.
After 35 minutes another excellent passage of play from Wasps resulted in their third try. Gopperth was hauled down just short of the line but the ball was recycled for Johnson to power past two defenders to score.
Gopperth's conversion hit a post but Wasps still led 22-3 at the interval when Kyle Eastmond was withdrawn after taking a heavy knock as half-time approached.
Within two minutes of the restart, Sale scored a well-created try when intricate handling gave Evans the chance to run 20 metres to score.
Wasps should have secured their bonus point but bungled two five-metre lineouts before giving away a succession of penalties which allowed their opponents to relieve the pressure.
The home side then brought on James Gaskell to play against his former club and it was another ex Shark, Miller, who raced away to rub salt in the wounds of the visitors by scoring two tries in two minutes.
Evans and Haley scored late tries for a spirited Sale as Wasps finished with 14 men with Wade limping off with four minutes remaining.