By Ali Stokes
Sale Sharks entertained Worcester Warriors after a shaming the previous week at the hands of an energetic Harlequins side under the charge of former England defence coach Paul Gustard.
Steve Diamond's Sale will have entered the Premiership's second round smarting from a leaky defensive performance that saw Quins put 51 points past them.
A gap well and truly plugged this week as Mike Forshaw's defence prevented the visitors from registering a single point during the opening 40 minutes.
USA international fly-half AJ Macginty opened the home side's account with a penalty on the 9th minute, shortly followed by Josh Beaumont score in the left corner ten minutes later after some stunning interplay from the Sharks backline. A period that included deft footballing skills from former England and Quins wing Marland Yarde and the final swivel and pass to send Beaumont over.
Further disappointment for travelling Warriors fans as an aimless Worcester attack marshalled by Scottish international Duncan Weir failed to provide adequate punch to pierce the Sale defence.
The problems for Warriors boss Alan Solomons began to pile as centre Ryan Mills sent an intercept pass into the grateful hands of predatorial Sale wing Denny Solomona, who narrowly missed the same opportunity mere seconds beforehand.
With a second MacGinty penalty proceeding Solomona's score, Worcester found themselves 18 points down, yet to open their own account for the way.
A solid period of relentless one out carriers saw Worcester handed their most promising attacking opportunity of the match. However, the blue wall of Sale defenders held fast throughout the five-minute assault, resulting in a knock-on that was cleaned up by hooker Rob Webber and sent into the stands for a continues 18-0 lead heading into the sheds.
A reversal of fates in the second half, that closely mirrored the Bath-Gloucester game the previous day, saw Sale's performance go from one-sided affair to failing struggle.
A third, patient period of Worcester possession saw the visiting forward unit hammer away at their opponent's five-meter line. With Jonny Arr denied his snipe at the base of the post, Welsh wing Josh Adams provided the magic moment to send fullback Chris Pennell over in the right corner.
Adams rode the tackle of one would-be Sale defender, drew the attention of Yarde away from Pennell and sent a deft offload to put his side within six points of their hosts.
Sale returned in commendable force, but the compounding errors during the second-half did not dissipate, with Worcester progressing into Sale's half in dangerous fashion.
An improved attacking structure centred around Weir and secondary playmaker Mills thrilled with silky smooth handling skills. However, a handling error in contact from the Warriors forward pack denied the visitors from claiming a dramatic late victory.
A final score of 21-15 in favour of Steve Diamond's charges, a scoreline that will not sit well with former England saxons, Saracens and Russia coach.
Tries: Josh Beaumont (19), Denny Solomona (33)
Conversions: MacGinty (34)
Penalties: AJ MacGinty (9, 30, 54)
Tries: Bryce Heem (47) Chris Pennell (60)
Conversions: Duncan Weir (47)
Penalties: Duncan Weir (51)
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