Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez took the sting out of Wasps as Sale Sharks breathed life back into their Premiership season.
A Wasps side featuring former Springboks Francois Hougaard and Nizaam Carr ultimately came up short against a Sale team stacked with South African beef. Despite opening the scoring, Wasps eventually succumbed to a 26-18 defeat.
For the home side, Jean-Luc du Preez was in particularly fine form and showcased all of his trademark power to put in a domineering performance. It was his try in the first half, off of a platform set by twin Dan du Preez, that sparked Sale into life after having conceded early.
In the absence of Manu Tuilagi, an all-South African centre pairing of Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Rob du Preez looked threatening in the opening exchanges. It was the former Lions centre, Janse van Rensburg who crossed for a try n the first half after crashing over from short range.
It looked to be all going one way for large parts of the first half, Lood de Jager and Jono Ross leading the Sale charge at the set pieces. Demonstrative of the possession that the home side commanded, Carr was forced into making an astounding 18 tackles in the first half alone.
The second 40 was, however, a decidedly more scrappy affair. Sale lacked the impetus to convert the many chances that they created and were let down by their discipline, frequently on the wrong side of referee Ian Tempest’s whistle. Eventually Coenie Oosthuizen saw yellow as a result of repeated infractions from Sale.
Nevertheless, in spite of a lack of accuracy and discipline, Sale were utterly dominant in defence and suffocated Wasps whenever they had possession.
Twins Dan and Jean-Luc were particularly abrasive in this area and will be pleased to have put in the type of performance that will remind the Springbok selectors of their quality.