Wasps 30 Sale 33
Danny Cipriani came back to haunt his old club, scoring one of Sale Sharks' five tries as they booked a place in the LV= Cup semi-finals with victory at Wasps.
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Cipriani missed the Aviva Premiership fixture at Adams Park in December after being dropped but produced a strong second-half showing in a match that turned on Will Taylor's sin-binning.
In his absence, the Sharks ran in three tries and managed to hold off a late onslaught to ensure Leicester can no longer catch them, regardless of their result at the Scarlets on Sunday.
Sale's hopes took an early hit when a Wasps scrum led to captain Sam Jones passing to Charlie Davies, whose ball inside sent Charlie Hayter through for a try on his home debut.
Stephen Jones added the simple conversion before the former Wales and Lions fly-half added a penalty in front of the posts to take the score to 10-0.
But the Sharks hit back when they were awarded a penalty try as a powerful maul was illegally dragged down by the Wasps pack with Cipriani knocking over the extras.
Five minutes later, the visitors turned the match on its head when Kearnan Myall barged his way over from close range following another drive towards the line by Sale's forwards.
Cipriani's conversion was a success but the gap was soon reduced back down to one point at 14-13 thanks to a Jones penalty.
The Sharks were causing some problems for themselves with poor kicking from hand, one of which almost cost them their lead with Jones' next penalty striking a post.
They were not so lucky four minutes before half-time, however, with Tommy Bell striking a superb effort from just inside the Sale half to put Wasps ahead.
But the momentum swung dramatically back towards the away side early in the second half when the hosts had Taylor sent to the sin bin.
From the resulting line-out, yet another maul surged its way over the line with Sale captain Sam Tuitupou emerging with the ball.
Three minutes later, the Sharks had the bonus point in the bag when hooker Tommy Taylor charged clear after being played in by Henry Thomas - Cipriani's conversion taking the score to 16-28.
With half an hour still to play, the visitors pulled further clear again with Cipriani rounding off a superb move to score in the left-hand corner.
Wasps pulled one score back with 10 minutes left when Davies picked up from the back of a strong five-metre scrum, cut inside and touched down.
After Sale had Aston Croall sin-binned, the hosts then had the last word with the final play when Sam Jones went over but Sale were not to be denied in the end.