Aviva Premiership Wasps: (31) 50Tries: Robson 4, Wade, Rowlands, Rieder Cons: Gopperth 6 Pens: GopperthSale: (14) 35Tries: McGuigan, B Curry, Solomona, de Klerk, Strauss Cons: MacGinty 5
Dan Robson scored four tries as Wasps saw off a resilient Sale to open their season with a bonus-point victory.
He went over twice inside 14 minutes before Christian Wade extended Wasps’ lead, and although Byron McGuigan replied, Robson claimed his hat-trick.
Ben Curry, Denny Solomona and Faf De Klerk crossed either side of half-time as Sale got to within eight points.
But Robson scored his fourth, with Will Rowlands and Alex Rieder also scoring, before Josh Strauss got a consolation.
Robson becomes only the 13th player to score four times in a Premiership match and only the second scrum-half – after Elton Moncrieff for Gloucester in 2000.
Last season’s runners-up Wasps appeared to be out of sight at 31-7 up just before the break, but England wing Solomona and South African debutant de Klerk led the comeback.
De Klerk’s try earned Sale a four-try bonus point and as 12 tries were scored at the Ricoh Arena in all.
Fiji centre Gaby Lovobalavu set up two scores on his first Wasps appearance, while last season’s leading Premiership try-scorer Wade added two assists to his try.
Wasps head coach Dai Young:
“We are our own worst enemy at times as we keep allowing sides back into the game to create a nervous last 10 minutes.
“They got it back to within eight points, which I thought flattered them but Sale are a hard team to put away and you have to give them credit.
On the performance of Danny Cipriani:
“Dan showed his real class today as he has done on numerous occasions.
I’m confused as to why he didn’t go to Argentina with England this summer as he had a pretty positive conversation with Eddie Jones just prior to the selection.
“I know as a result of this he was disappointed but I’m due a meeting with Eddie in the next week or so.”
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:
“Their attack was better than our defence, but I thought we did really well in the second half as we had got close to them when I thought a refereeing decision went against us, which saw Nathan Hughes race away to set up the decisive try.
“I would have liked to come away with two points but I’m not too despondent at having one, but I don’t like having to stomach conceding seven tries.”
Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, Lovobalavu, Gopperth, Bassett; Cipriani, Robson; McIntyre, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Myall, Johnson, Rieder, Hughes.
Replacements: Rowlands, Mullan, Moore, Symons, Willis, Simpson, De Jongh, Watson
Sale: Haley; Solomona, Addison (capt), James, McGuigan; MacGinty, De Klerk; Harrison, Webber, Aulika, Evans, Beaumont, Ross, B Curry, Strauss.
Replacements: Jones, Flynn, Tarus, Ostrikov, Ioane, T Curry, Cliff, Jennings