WASPS suffered their seventh defeat in eight matches after losing 26-18 against Sale Sharks on New Year’s Day.
Josh Bassett and Jimmy Gopperth touched down for Wasps with Gopperth’s additional eight points from the kicking tee not enough to secure a losing bonus point.
The result means Lee Blackett’s side drop to ninth in the Gallagher Premiership table ahead of a difficult run of fixtures.
However, Wasps made a dream start at the AJ Bell Stadium when Bassett went over in the corner after just three minutes from Ali Crossdale’s pass.
Sale then ran in three tries in quick succession with Jean-Luc du Preez first over the line on 12 minutes with a powerful drive from close range.
And the Sharks doubled their tally four minutes later when Marland Yarde finished superbly in the corner moments after Gopperth had kicked Wasps ahead.
The home side increased their advantage on 28 minutes when Rohan Janse van Rensburg’s quick thinking saw him dart over to send Sale into the break with a 19-8 lead.
And the Manchester club made a quick start to the second half when Ben Curry scrambled over on 43 minutes despite appearing to dot down from a double movement to secure a try bonus point for the hosts.
Sharks prop Coenie Oosthuizen was sin binned for a tackle off the ball in the final few minutes before Gopperth finished underneath the posts with the final play of the match.
Wasps Head Coach Blackett said: “We came out on the wrong side physically, we lost a lot of battles out there.
“Physicality was one of our key words coming into this game and we got ourselves an early lead, promising start and you can’t give Sale field position.
“The only positive I can probably take out of it is that could have gone very horrible, very quickly towards the end.
“But we showed a bit of grit and a bit of fight to stay in it and we were unlucky with the amount of possession and territory we had towards the end, trying to at least get a point.”
Wasps are next in action at home to league leaders Leicester Tigers on Sunday, January 9 with kick-off at 3pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.