Sale Sharks secure vital bonus-point win over Northampton to keep play-off hopes alive

The bonus point had been secured before the first half was out, with two tries by Luke James, a penalty try and a fourth by Simon Hammersley.

The first score set the tone, with Sale using their power with a drive by Jean-Luc du Preez drive and a surge by Curtis Langdon drive creating the momentum before Rob du Preez’s long pass enabled James to run over unopposed.

The second try was more straightforward, with Saints conceding a penalty try when they brought down a driving maul from a line-out after three attempts by Sale and Apisalome Ratuniyarawa was sent to the sin bin.

Going down to 14 men brought the best moment of the half for Saints, with a brilliantly executed move seeing Dan Biggar put Ahsee Tuala on a brilliant line to slice through the Sharks’ defence for a try.

Yet Sale were relentless, and their ability to

Read More Read more

Sale Sharks bring on their big guns to subdue battling Harlequins and win Premiership Rugby Cup final

That response took a while to arrive. Smith extended Harlequins’ lead to nine from the tee, but then came De Klerk and then came Manu Tuilagi.

When the home side realised that their unstoppable driving maul was going to be the way to get back into this, their task looked easier. Dan Du Preez’s score from the tail of another maul set up a two-point finish.

That was enough to set Sale back on the straight and narrow. And when Quins flanker Will Evans was too overzealous at a ruck, Rob Du Preez gave Sale the lead. De Klerk’s last-minute sniping try was the icing on the Sale cake, putting the trophy’s destination beyond doubt.

Match details

Scores: 5-0 (Langdon try), 7-0 (R Du Preez con), 10-0 (R Du Preez pen), 10-3 (Smith pen), 10-6 (Smith pen), 10-11 (Chisholm try), 10-13 (Smith con), 10-16 (Smith pen); 10-19 (Smith pen), 15-19

Read More Read more