Sale Sharks 9

Worcester Warriors 17

Worcester took advantage of a depleted Sale side to secure just their second Premiership victory of the season.

But it was no more than Mike Ruddock's men deserved having created more scoring opportunities than their illustrious hosts and produced the only try of a drab match.

In fact the margin of victory could have been even greater as the Sixways outfit missed six of their ten kicks at goal, which would have given them 17 points and condemned the Premiership hopefuls to an even more embarrassing defeat.

In the end, however, the Worcester scrum was just too powerful for a Sharks pack that clearly missed Andrew Sheridan and a second half effort from Netani Talei was enough to settle the game.

A tight first half ended 6-6 courtesy of two penalties apiece from Warriors' Matt Jones and Sale's disposed England fly half Charlie Hodgson.

The visitors went ahead in the fourth minute when Chris Latham smashed the ball into midfield and forced Sharks to dive over. Jones accepted the gift from close range.

But the scores were level on the quarter hour when Netani Talei entered a ruck at the side and afforded Hodgson an easy three points.

Worcester then wasted a couple of chances to regain the lead when their scrum, which was dominant throughout, won another penalty inside the home 22. Unfortunately this time Jones missed a simple shot at goal.

Then after half an hour the returning Dale Rasmussen took quality lineout ball within ten metres of the line only to lose possession.

Sale punished Worcester's wastefulness when Hodgson landed a second penalty, from inside his own half, with eight minutes to go before half time.

Then with the last action of the period the Warriors scrum forced Sale to pop up and Jones made it 6-6.

The decisive score came 13 minutes after the restart as Latham's superb positional kick created the platform for Talei to wriggle over from short range.

Although Jones missed the conversion he was successful with two more penalties, compared to Hodgson's one and Warriors closed out the match without too much trouble.

SALE: Tait (Macleod 72); Cueto, Keil (Tuilagi 54), Bell, Doherty; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; O'Donnell, Briggs, Turner, Schofield, Cockbain (Gaskell 68), Ormsby (Tait 14), Abrahams, Fearns. Replacements: Marc Jones, Davies, Leck

WORCESTER: Latham; Pennell, Rasmussen, Tuitupou (Crichton 77), Benjamin; Matt Jones, Powell R (Powell M 50); Mullan, Fortey, Taumoepeau, Rawlinson, Gillies, Talei, Sanderson, Horstmann. Replacements: Horsman, Page, Bowley, Cox, Gear

Referee: David Rose