Walder pinches last-kick victory in duel with Hodgson

Sale 24 Wasps 25

Wasps will be ordering the beer and pizzas in after this one. Especially the pizzas.

Last November, Wasps eschewed this fixture in favour of staying on the team bus eating Domino's finest as they argued that the Edgeley Park pitch was too waterlogged for the encounter to take place.

New drainage at the ground meant that despite a day-long downpour yesterday, this encounter went ahead with ease and how happy Wasps were that that was the case as Dave Walder's brilliant last minute drop-goal helped them win a match the boot had dominated.

Charlie Hodgson, the returning Sale Sharks fly-half, was in imperious form as he slotted eight penalties to register all of Sale's points but Walder ruined his evening's work and laughed last and loudest with a crucial intervention.

"It was a bloody professional job," Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks said. "It's five years since we won here so we know it is a difficult place to come. With Walder it wasn't just his goalkicking and control but his defence, too, they targeted him and he did a great job."

Four penalties apiece for the fly-halves ensured there was nothing between the two sides at the interval after a half that had been tight, tense and bruising in the extreme. Hodgson repeatedly picked out Wasps' lightweight looking fullback Richard Haughton whose vulnerability under the high ball was not helped by being crunched in several wince-inducing tackles. Those gave Sale valuable momentum and lifted spirits in their pack but they could not take full advantage of that which ultimately cost them.

Shabby discipline from Wasps' Ben Broster at the restart gave Hodgson his fifth successful kick of the evening to make it 15-12 and further carelessness at the breakdown allowed him to kick another, by far his best, from 55 metres.

However, Wasps showed admirable tenacity as Dan Ward-Smith bundled over for the only try while Walder's extras ensured the scoreboard swung back in the visitors' favour at 18-19. Hodgson wrestled Sale back in front with two quickfire penalties, before Walder pounced, kicking a penalty before Wasps muscled him into the perfect position for a drop-goal which he comfortably landed to confirm a stunning win. And who had given Wasps the field position for the drop courtesy of a knock-on? Hodgson himself. Life can be cruel.

"Dave Walder stuck at their gameplan for 80 minutes and that won them the game," Sale head coach Mike Brewer said. "Charlie didn't manage the game as he should have and I will speak to him about that because I'm disappointed."

Sale: Williams; Brady, Cohen, Tuilagi, Cueto; Hodgson, Peel; Wihongi, Briggs, Forster (Croall,77), Rouse, Gaskell (capt), Fearns, McMillan, Ormsby.

Wasps: Haughton; Varndell, Jacobs, Waldouck, Lemi; Walder, Simpson (Berry 73); Payne (Beech 22), Ward (Webber 52), Broster (Ruwers 75), Ward-Smith, Birkett, Worsley (Ward 62-79, Worsley 79), Rees (capt), Powell.

Referee: D Rose (RFU).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable