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 convert pressure into points in the Northampton 22 was giving a helping hand by an error by Biggar, who completely missed with his attempt to gather a chip ahead by Luke James and the Sale full-back was able to ground the ball over the line unopposed.

Sale’s ability to make ground through the hands then created the opportunity for Hammersley to score the fourth in the left-hand corner.

With Du Preez missing three kicks and Flaf de Klerk one, there was still a lifeline for Saints however and when Alex Mitchell darted over for a try with a show and go, it made the game more of a tussle than it should have been.

But a fifth try by Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the left-hand corner settled the contest in the 72nd minute before Valeri Morozov went over for a sixth.

Source Article