Wasps continued their fine start to life in Coventry with a bonus point win against Sale which took them into the top four for the first time this season – albeit in front of a much smaller crowd than their debut outing at the Ricoh Arena.

Scrum-half Joe Simpson scored two of his side’s five tries as they blitzed the Sharks 41-16 to record their third straight Premiership win in front of 15,343 fans – a figure which is almost half of the 28,254 who turned up to see them beat London Irish two weeks ago.

James Haskell, Ashley Johnson and Nathan Hughes also crossed, with Andy Goode kicking a further 16 points as the Black and Golds coasted to victory.

A fifth straight win in all competitions was in the bag by half-time as the home side took a commanding 27-9 lead into the break thanks to some incisive rugby.

After the sides had exchanged penalties, captain Haskell burst through a tackle and went over in the right corner following a mazy run from the influential Christian Wade.

Joe Ford made it 10-6 with another penalty, but on 21 minutes the hosts extended their advantage again with their second try of the match, bursting through to score his eighth of the season from ten metres out.

Goode added a drop goal following another penalty from Ford before Simpson got in on the act, stripping the ball from Mike Hale on the half-way line and racing to the line to give Wasps an imperious advantage at half-time.

The second half started in the same vain as the first had finished with Simpson finishing off a mult-phase move to give Goode the simplest of conversions from in front of the posts.

Johnson then stretched the lead to 41-9 when he went over in the right corner following a lineout, with Goode making light work of the afters.

With a 32-point cushion Wasps made a raft of changes and when James Gaskell was yellow carded the visitors were able to gain a foothold in the match.

The advantage of the extra man helped the Sharks record a consolation score through Andrei Ostrikov with Danny Cipriani kicking the conversion.

It was too little too late for the visitors, though, and Dai Young’s side continued their march up the table with a game against second place Bath to come on Saturday.