Round 4 will conclude on Sunday with what should be a cracker as Wasps travel to the AJ Bell to tackle Sale Sharks.
Sale did what was expected of them in Round 1 by putting Northampton Saints away 32-23 before being blindsided in Round 2 by an impressive Newcastle Falcons outfit who outfoxed their opponents to a 2-point (15-13) victory. Then, in the most recent round, Sale pulled their socks up and did the business against Exiles in a 21-13 victory. As things stand, Sale are in fourth position on the overall standings behind Bristol Bears and ahead of Harlequins
Last year’s finalists, Wasps, have had an unexpectedly disappointing campaign so far, starting well with a 3-point victory over Bristol in Round 1 before crashing to a surprising defeat against Gloucester one week later in a game they were heavily expected to take.
Things did not improve for Lee Blackett’s charges in Round 3 where, like Sale, they were caught unawares by the rampant Newcastle Falcons.
Wasps now occupy the unfamiliar territory of tenth spot on the log and one can only imagine their hunger to ascend after such a successful campaign last season.
Drawing on from that topic, if last season is anything to go by, Sale stand a real shot this weekend after getting the better of Wasps in both their meetings in 2019-20.
The first encounter occurred during the tournament’s infancy, in Round 4, where Sale, on their home turf, put in a workman like shift to see off Wasps 28-18.
Round 16 saw Jono Ross’ men again neutralise Wasps’ sting with a great display in the cold wet at the Ricoh Arena to run out 9-point victors.
Wasps have been the more impressive of the sides most recently, however, currently finding themselves at second spot on the Champions Cup log after victories in the opening two rounds against Dragons and Montpellier.
Conversely, Sale have struggled on the European front, losing out to Toulon in Round 1 and Edinburgh in Round 2.
Fans can look forward to this one as it is a fixture which normally produces some great, competitive play. Sale are dangerous on their home turf but they will meet stiff opposition in the form of an eager Wasps outfit this weekend.