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

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