Sale Sharks complete bonus-point victory over Northampton Saints

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond
Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond

Northampton Saints 14-34 Sale Sharks, Franklin's Gardens

Sale Sharks scored six tries as they eased past Northampton Saints with a 14-34 bonus point victory in the 21st round of the Gallagher Premiership at Franklin's Gardens.

The win meant Sale Sharks are at fourth place with 13 wins from 21 games and have taken their tally to 64 points while Northampton Saints are at seventh place after suffering their 13th defeat.

The game also saw England internationals Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes injured ahead of the end of the years internationals.

Sale Sharks started the proceedings early with an early fifth minute try from Luke James and three minutes later Northampton lost Lawes to injury after falling awkwardly and by the 13th minute it was the visitors' turn as Tuilagi left the field injuring his left Achilles.

The start of the second quarter saw Northampton losing Api Ratuniyarawa to sin-bin and to make things worse, the visitors were awarded a penalty try making the scoreline 0-12.

Despite down by a player, Northampton bounced back as Ahsee Tuala racing out from midfield to dot down and Dan Biggar kicked the conversion to reduce the gap down to five points.

As the half-time was approaching, Sale Sharks went on to complete the bonus point with further tries from Luke James and Simon Hammersley as the opening half ended with a 7-20 scoreline.

The third quarter went almost without a point but scrum-half Alex Mitchell provided Northampton a breakthrough with a 60th minute try that Dan Biggar improved making it 14-20 but Steve Diamond's men sealed the game with back to back tries from Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Valery Morozov in the final five minutes to complete a 20 point victory.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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