Sale edged past Leicester and Wasps beat Newcastle as the 2022-23 Premiership Rugby Cup got under way.
The Sharks withstood a second-half fightback by the Tigers to edge their opening Pool 2 match 25-19.
The hosts looked comfortable after tries by Arron Reed and Josh Beaumont put them 15 points up after the break.
But Tom Horton and Lewis Chessum crossed for the Tigers to close the gap to just three before Kieran Wilkinson’s late penalty saw Sale home.
In the night’s other game, Wasps outscored Newcastle Falcons 35-21 in Coventry.
Kieran Curran got Wasps on the scoreboard after only six minutes and Greg Fisilau extended that lead, with Michael van Vuuren adding a third try before half-time.
Newcastle’s Nathan Greenwood marked his debut with a try from 45 metres out, but the home side swiftly reasserted control after Van Vuuren’s second score and Harry Craven’s try – all converted by Will Haydon-Wood.
Haydon-Wood was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Greenwood and the Falcons took advantage to register late tries through Josh Peters and Iwan Stephens, with Louie Johnson adding the extras each time.
Sharks continue 100% start to season
Leicester dominated the opening exchanges at the AJ Bell Stadium and went in front through a penalty try, with Sharks losing lock Dom Barrow to the sin-bin at the same time.
Despite that, the home side piled pressure on an inexperienced Tigers defence and Wilkinson’s penalty reduced the arrears before Sam Dugdale crossed from close range to give Sale a 10-7 advantage.
They stretched that further soon after the turnaround with two tries in quick succession as Reed raced clear to score and Beaumont bundled his way over soon afterwards.
Yet Leicester fought back, with hooker Horton on the scoresheet before Chessum charged down a Sharks kick and sprinted for the line to make it 22-19.
The visitors then won a penalty in front of the posts, but opted to kick for the corner and failed to make it count, with Wilkinson slotting over to give Sale some breathing space two minutes from time.
Defending champions Worcester – who are in financial trouble with reported debts of £25m – start their campaign at Gloucester on Wednesday, while Harlequins host London Irish.