10th Dec, 2016

Wasps leave Sale empty handed after fine kicking display by Danny Cipriani

Steve Carpenter 5th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE BOOT of England star Danny Cipriani proved to be the difference between Wasps and Sale as he kicked all of the points for the home team in a 15-9 victory.

The wet conditions played their part in what proved to be scrappy match at the AJ Bell Stadium, but it was Sale who came on top as Wasps slipped down to ninth in the Aviva Premiership following their fifth defeat of the season.

Wasps took a narrow 6-3 lead into half-time with Jimmy Gopperth penalty and a drop goal from Elliot Daly cancelling out Cipriani’s opening penalty kick.

But the England international showed his class after the break and despite Gopperth levelling the scores for the second time in the match at 9-9, Cipriani landed a late penalty and a drop goal to seal the win for Sale.

“The conditions dictated it was always going to be a tight game with few scoring opportunities, but from our point of view I am really disappointed with our skill levels,” said Wasps director of rugby Dai Young.

“The conditions were the same for both sides. Ball retention is the biggest work-on for us, as we’re not giving ourselves a chance to play.

“We made it hard for ourselves with something like 18 handling errors and I thought they were more urgent than us and seemed to come up with all the 50-50’s on the floor. Hard work, desire and commitment are a given, what we have to be better with is our skill levels.”

Despite tasting a fifth defeat this season, Young is confident his side has enough quality to turn their season around.

He added: “The table doesn’t lie, but there is a long way to go and we have got to be better than we were on Saturday.

“This is a difficult place to come and again Sale played well – they haven’t lost here since last April so we know how tough a nut they are to crack.

“We have had some great wins over the last six or eight weeks, but we haven’t backed them up with consistent enough performances. We have come away with a losing bonus point and that is as much as we deserved in my opinion.”