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Match Report
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16 Sep 2001: Wasps v Sale Sharks

Please use the buttons below to see more information on Sale Sharks and matches between Wasps and Sharks over the years.

Match Report
Wasps's Badge Wasps 21
Sharks's Badge Sale Sharks 40
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Loftus Road
Match Date: Sun 16 Sep 2001, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Tony Spreadbury

The Sharks Pile on the Points

Full of confidence after a fine start to the season, Sale Sharks went to the top of the table with this 19-point win at Loftus Road and Wasps, suffering from a chronic list of injuries, never achieved any rhythm with their game. Yet another injury, a damaged shoulder for scrum half Martyn Wood, added to director of rugby Nigel Melville's headaches who now has eight of his top players out of action.

Sale went into the lead on 13 minutes with a penalty from their young fly half Charlie Hodgson, who eventually kicked a total of 25 points with six penalties, two conversions and a drop-goal. Wasps immediately drew level with a penalty from Kenny Logan but within two minutes, trailed by seven points as centre Dan Harris got over the line. Two penalties apiece maintained that gap and it was 16-9 at half time.

Within two minutes of the re-start Wasps suffered cruelly when their opponents lost control of the ball and Hodgson was forced to scoop the ball backwards - and hope ! It fell into the hands of their new wing Mark Cueto who set off across the field on a horizontal line evading two half-hearted tackles and as he straightened, two thumping hand-offs on Matt Leek and Craig Dowd took him clear to the line. No conversion but a penalty four minutes later took Sale to 24-9.

Wasps battled bravely and were clearly weakened by their injury-ravaged back row, but the All Black prop Dowd forced his way over and then a lucky bounce presented Fraser Waters with a simple try, duly converted by Logan, and despite another Sale penalty during this period, the home side were now within one score of taking over the lead, But it was not to be and Sale stretched their lead from 27-21 with yet another penalty and on 80 minutes, a drop goal to make the game safe.

Sale were not finished with the scoreboard yet and in the third minute of injury time, to the sheer delight of the visiting supporters, their backs engineered a clever move and Jason Robinson scampered over and another conversion made it 40-21.