Dwayne Peel had a double cause for celebration last night. Having heard just before kick-off that he had been recalled to Wales's Six Nations squad, the scrum-half then played a key role in a bonus-point victory which took Sale to third in the Premiership table.
Peel's recall came after Gareth Cooper injured a knee in training, leaving Wales with one scrum-half, Mike Phillips, as they prepare to face Scotland at Murrayfield next Sunday.
The news was not so good for England. The Sale centre Mathew Tait hobbled off after 66 minutes, with a leg injury.
In his hour or so on the field, Peel posed problems for Worcester with darting breaks, clever kicks and passes which invariably put the receiver into space. But it was not until Worcester were reduced to 14 men that Sale took charge, their former England fly-half, Charlie Hodgson, sliding over a neat drop-goal. The flanker Chris Jones, also once of England, then scored his side's first try. Hodgson's conversion, added to two earlier penalties, eased Sale into the lead.
Jones's try was the climax of a poor 10 minutes for Worcester which had begun with a disallowed try by Kai Horstmann, their No 8. That was followed by the loss of the full-back Chris Latham, the scorer of their first try, who was carried off after treatment for a neck injury. He went to hospital for a scan but is expected to be OK. Then came Horstmann's yellow card and Hodgson's second penalty.
Sale stretched their lead in the second half with tries by Oriol Ripol and Neil Briggs. Hodgson converted both. Marcel Garvey scored a late try for Worcester, but then came Chris Bell's bonus-point try in the fourth minute of added time.
Worcester: C Latham (L Crichton, 21); R Gear, H Luscombe, D Rasmussen, M Garvey; J Carlisle, R Powell; M Mullan, A Lutui (C Fortey, 73), T Taumoepeau, G Rawlinson, W Bowley (C Gillies, 52), N Talei (T Wood, 77), K Horstmann, P Sanderson (capt).
Sale: N McLeod; C Bell, M Tait (R Keil, 66), L Thomas, O Ripol; C Hodgson, D Peel (R Wigglesworth, 69); L Faure (S Turner, 68), S Bruno (M Jones, 56), E Roberts, S Chabal (J White, 35), D Schofield, C Jones (D Tait, 61), J-M Fernandez-Lobbe (capt), N Briggs.
Referee: R Debney (Leicestershire).Reuse content