Sale Sharks ease past Worcester with dominant victory
Sale were on the front foot from the start.
Sale Sharks boosted their Aviva Premiership top-four hopes following a dominant 58-25 triumph over Worcester Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Steve Diamond’s charges were on the front foot from the start and touched down via Ben Curry and Faf de Klerk. Jamie Shillcock responded with two penalties for Worcester, but wings Marland Yarde and Denny Solomona gave the hosts a comfortable buffer at the break.
Josh Adams and Mike Haley traded tries at the beginning of the second half before Josh Strauss and Byron McGuigan added to the away side’s pain.
Adams went over to complete his brace but a De Klerk penalty took the Sharks past the half-century in reply.
James O’Connor then crossed the whitewash and – although Jackson Willison garnered some sort of consolation for the Midlanders – the Greater Manchester outfit moved up to sixth in the table as a result.
Despite losing their previous two matches going into this contest, Alan Solomons’ men had shown an improvement since the South African’s arrivals, but they were in poor form in Salford.
Sale scored two tries in the opening seven minutes and, while both were exceptionally well taken, they came from errors by the visitors.
The first was particularly poor by the Warriors, losing the ball when looking to off-load. Haley duly pounced, finding Bryn Evans who in turn passed to Curry in space and the flanker touched down unopposed.
Worcester attempted to hit back immediately and took play inside the opposition 22 but, following a knock-on 10 metres from the line, the hosts brilliantly countered.
Marland Yarde sprinted down the left, linked up with Haley and the full-back off-loaded for De Klerk to cross the whitewash.
To the Warriors’ credit, they lifted the intensity and gave themselves hope when Shillcock kicked a penalty but a yellow card for Darren Barry after a cynical off-the-ball infringement saw them down to 14.
Although they initially dealt well with the setback, reducing the arrears via the boot of their stand-off, further Sharks pressure resulted in Yarde going over for a deserved try.
Diamond’s side were rampant and Andrei Ostrikov broke through before passing to Denny Solomona, who duly secured the bonus-point.
Solomons needed a response from the Midlanders at the start of the second period and Adams provided a glimmer of hope by intercepting De Klerk’s pass and scampering clear.
That was quickly extinguished, however, as another poor clearance resulted in Haley collecting and going on a mazy run for a superb individual effort.
Strauss then touched down as Sale maintained their dominance on proceedings before McGuigan latched onto Alan MacGinty’s kick to score and MacGinty added his fifth conversion of the day.
Adams did go over for his second but De Klerk’s three-pointer took the home side past 50 points with 12 minutes remaining. Sale were not finished, though, and O’Connor weaved his way to the line from close range.
The Warriors had the final word through Willison but it was a chastening afternoon for the visitors.
WHAT A TRY - SHAME IT'S LATE! pic.twitter.com/2rgQMheAzV— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) March 24, 2018