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Cipriani answers critics for Sale
09:57 AEST Sat Dec 29 2012

Former Melbourne Rebels five-eighth Danny Cipriani played his way back into Sale's good books as the former England playmaker returned to inspire his struggling Premiership club to a crucial 33-27 win over Worcester on Friday.

Cipriani had been dropped for Sale's previous match - a 25-18 defeat by Wasps - following his lacklustre display in a 62-0 European Cup thrashing at the hands of Toulon.

Sale's director of rugby John Mitchell warned Cipriani he had to improve his performances to get back in the team, but an injury to Nick Macleod allowed him to feature against Worcester and he took advantage with an 18-point display at the Salford City Stadium.

The Sharks have been rooted to the foot of the table since the start of the campaign, but with Cipriani in a dominant mood they dug deep to claim only their second league victory of the season.

Cipriani, 25, kicked four penalties and converted tries from Richie Gray, James Gaskell and England winger Mark Cueto, whose touchdown saw him draw level with former Sale team-mate Steve Hanley's all-time Premiership try-scoring record of 75.

The result lifted Sale to within one point of second-bottom London Irish and encouraged hopes that they can avoid relegation.