Leicester Tigers were beaten 25-15 by a Sale Sharks team who claimed three tries at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday evening.
Tigers had led by eight points midway through the first half before Sharks turned the tide, starting with an interception try, and they added two more after the break to register a third successive league win.
In his 200th appearance for the club, it was captain Tom Youngs who was mistakenly credited with the opening try in the Gallagher Premiership Round 7 meeting as he later pointed out that Tommy Reffell had been the scorer.
But the length-of-the-field score from Sam James got Sharks on the board and then added a three-pointer in the last action of the first half to lead 10-8 at the break.
Sharks extended the advantage in the second half, with tries by Cobus Wiese and Marland Yarde before Nemani Nadolo’s finish on the left provided a reply but the visitors remained 10 points ahead with time running out.
It was Sharks who had got the game started, kicking towards the Mattioli Woods Stand end, and Tigers scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, in his first appearance after suspension, had an early clearing kick charged down before Freddie Steward mopped up untidy ball on his own line.
After being awarded free-kicks at successive early scrums, Tigers were given a penalty when the Sharks front row popped up at the next and Henry landed a smart kick from wide on the right for an eighth-minute lead.
Early-evening rainfall made for some tricky handling conditions, and Nemani Nadolo was just unable to hold on to spilled ball just inside the Sharks half with space opening in front of him to attack.
With play almost exclusively at close quarters among the forwards, an infringement by lock Jean-Pierre du Preez gave Tigers a first really attacking position from a penalty on the left which eventually led to the Reffell score.
After setting up a maul from the lineout, Tigers had another set-piece closer to the line and after skipper Youngs had taken control, it was Reffell in possession as the forwards pushed over the line. Henry’s conversion kick from wide of the left flew just the wrong side of the near post with Tigers eight points in front.
Wigglesworth kept prodding play into Sharks territory with his left boot, and one teasing kick brought a spill from AJ McGinty on his own 22-metre line. But, as Tigers played out from a scrum, visiting full-back Sam James picked off a pass in midfield and ran 80 metres to score at the opposite end. McGinty added the conversion to make it 8-7 on the half-hour.
This time, after Nadolo broke the first tackle, Tigers recycled but Henry pushed a drop-goal attempt wide.
Matt Scott then broke clear out of defence after picking off Sharks ball. But when he was caught in the Sale 22, Marland Yarde capitalised on loose ball to threaten another breakaway try. Yarde kicked upfield, only for Steward to take the ball off his toes almost under his own posts.
But as Tigers tried to force their way out, referee Ian Tempest blew at a breakdown and pointed in Sharks favour, allowing McGinty to kick his side into a 10-8 lead as the half came to a close.
A penalty for offside near halfway at the start of the second period gave Sharks a promosing platform for attack which brought a score for Cobus Wiese. With Tigers retreating and the referee playing advantage for three separate penalties, Harry Wells was sin-binned and Wiese forced his way over for the try, converted by McGinty for a 17-8 lead.
But Sharks increased the gap on the scoreboard with Marland Yarde diving in on the left after a clever kick in midfield. MacGinty was unable to add the extras as his kick hit the outside of the post with Sharks 22-8 in front on 55 minutes.
Nephi Leatigaga was yellow-carded after a high tackle on Luke James and Tigers found themselves back on the defensive before Sharks were penalised for a deliberate knock-on as Wigglesworth looked for Nadolo on the left.
Montoya was taken into touch as he tried to barrel his way through the Sharks forward pack, but Tigers kept play in Sharks territory and had a penalty after Wiese was subject to a high tackle but were kept out by stern defence.
Tigers were then whistled themselves in defence, not retreating quickly enough from a free-kick, and Sharks chose to go for scrum ball as they hunted a fourth try. Although Leatigaga returned to the field for the set-piece, another penalty award gave MacGinty the chance to nudge over a kick to make it 8-25.
Some possession near the Sharks line finally brought a Tigers response, creating the chance to take play to the left where Nadolo ran in and replacement Johnny McPhillips added a precise conversion to bring the gap down to 10 points with five minutes remaining.
There as one final chance when Nadolo and Scott exchanged passes down the left touchline but Sharks managed to scramble back and force the ball loose with the clock running down.