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SAINTS 33 SALE 14 As it happened

George Pisi goes under the posts for the Saints' third of the evening © Getty Images

Rugby News, Match Report SAINTS 33 SALE 14 As it happened

The blow-by-blow account as the Saints made it a perfect 10 points from 10 at Franklin's Gardens, running in another five tries in an eye-catching display against Sale.

KO
Huge guard of honour and a raucous welcome for the Saints, led by Stephen Myler on his 200th appearance in black, green and gold. Danny Cipriani gets us underway...
SAINTS 0 SALE 0 

2mins
Sam Dickinson collects Cipriani's long kick off and after rattling through a couple of phases, Luther Burell finds good touch. Sale's first line out is a swift one but a knock on in midfield produces the evening's first scrum… and a first reset, of course! Second time round Saints get it moving and David Rose doesn't hesitate to award the penalty.
SAINTS 0 SALE 0

5mins
Myler finds the Sale 22 but it's not long before the visitors have their first penalty of the night, Dickinson slightly isolated and wrapped up by Sale tacklers. Cipriani puts his side to halfway. Right on the centre spot there's another penalty coming for Saints not rolling away and Cipriani fancies his chances but is well short of the mark.
SAINTS 0 SALE 0

9mins
Ben Foden slips on the counter but his forwards get around him and maul him some 10-15m up the park. Sale do well to get the man wrapped up again though and it's their scrum as the mass of bodies crumbles. A penalty for good measure too.
SAINTS 0 SALE 0

10mins
Sale looking really menacing and though possession is briefly the Saints' after a knock on, the Sharks are back up to the 22 after a rushed kick clear. Saints look organised though and usher Rob Miller into touch. And while Dylan Hartley's first lineout goes astray, Sale had pulled the man down in the lineout - penalty coming. 
SAINTS 0 SALE 0

13mins
Saints emphatically on the front foot thanks to who else but George North?! Dances round Miller and while the big wing slips, Saints are well inside enemy territory - Hartley with a bone-crunching carry. That allows space to develop on the right and Burrell carves his way through for the evening's first try. Patient play and brilliantly crafted. Myler adds the extras.
SAINTS 7-0 SALE

18mins
Saints seemingly making ground with every carry and when a penalty comes up in kickable range, Myler instead goes for touch. His accurate kick hits the 5m line and a third mauled try in three games is well and truly on the cards. Another penalty goes to the corner and a Sale knock on means a 5m scrum instead.
SAINTS 7 SALE 0

22mins
Penalty advantage coming from the scrum but Saints smell blood and Dickinson launches himself towards the posts. The Sale defence can only hold on for so long and in the left corner, Jamie Elliott gifts North his first try in Saints colours!
SAINTS 12 SALE 0

26mins
Cipriani with a well judged kick gives Sale good territory but having been neat and tidy clearing, Saints also win a free kick from the line out. Myler spots space in behind but his kick isn't the best and Sale eventually clear having seen the initial 22 dropout charged down.
SAINTS 12 SALE 0

31mins
The visitors attack but making relatively little ground, Cipriani's kick is gathered by Elliott and returned with interest. Brady makes a mess of getting it away too and while Saints can't quite recover possession in open play, they do get a line out on Sale's 22.
SAINTS 12 SALE 0

32mins
Brilliant first phase try from the Saints and it's number three. Lee Dickson scythes through having arced round the back of a line out move and his offload matches the burst to release George Pisi under the posts. TMO has a look for possible obstruction but absolutely nothing doing and Myler adds the simple extras.
SAINTS 19 SALE 0

34mins
A penalty almost immediately from the restart and Sale are already chasing the game. Cipriani puts it into the south-west corner but try as they might Sale can't break the Saints' resolve and Lawes crushes Cueto as he counters. Sale stay patient though and as the move is killed again, Calum Clark sees yellow.
SAINTS 19 SALE 0

37mins
Monumental bit of defence from the Saints and as the ball is turned over and cleared, we get close to the biggest cheer of the evening! The 16th man are becoming the 15th man during Clark's sin bin.
SAINTS 19 SALE 0

40mins
Another penalty, Sale go again and this time they do find a gap in the depleted Saints, Cueto spotting space and dotting down to increase his Premiership record tally of tries. Cipriani converts and Sale are crucially on the board.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

HT
Well, after what was a sublime first half of attacking rugby from the Saints, Calum Clark's yellow card has left the game in the balance. Tries for Burrell, North and George had the hosts racing clear but with Cueto responding in the sin bin period prior to the break, Sale have a foothold and another five minutes at 14 men.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

40mins
Stephen Myler gets us back underway…
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

44mins
A couple of Sale penalties and third time round Cirpiani looks to the posts. Saints struggled to fully complete their clearance there but are fortunate to get away with it, Cipriani horribly slicing the kick.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

46mins
Saints happy to play from deep but after a bit of a kick exchange, Foden finds good touch in the Sale half and the clearance is finally done. Clark also returns to the field.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

48mins
More good work from the full back cleans up a dangerous kick through and while Sale mount another flowing attack from the line out, Saints have them covered man for man and force Miller into touch. Manoa replaces Day on the Saints side.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

50mins
Mass changes for the Sharks in the forwards, Jones, Harrison, Thomas and Mills on for Lewis Roberts, Taylor, Cobilas and Kulemin. Foden in action again with a really good clearing kick all the way back inside the Sale 10m line.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

52mins
Saints play from deep and it's the forwards with the dazzling breaks and offloading this time. Manoa punches a hole and offloads through Dickinson and Clark to Dowson, who advances right up to the Sale 5m line. Cracking break and a penalty coming their way too from a first real burst of the second 40.
SAINTS 19 SALE 7

53mins
Into the corner from Myler and Lawes soars to scoop Hartley's arrow in. The maul breaks down but Dickson wriggles over and David Rose will make sure with the TMO, who confirms the bonus point try from the scrum-half. He's looked especially lively this evening along with half-back partner Myler - who converts.
SAINTS 26 SALE 7

56mins
Big double hit from Lawes and Corbisiero stops Brady in his tracks. The ball is kicked Saints' way as a result and they're happy to counter, again to stunning effect. George cuts Exeter open and his stunning pass releases Elliott, who collects his own deft kick to dash through. To the TMO again though and the ball was in touch.
SAINTS 26 SALE 7 

61mins
Saints make a couple more changes, Kahn Fotuali'i and James Wilson on, Lee Dickson and George Pisi off after impressive individual evenings. Also making way are Lawes, Corbisiero and Mercey for Wood, Waller and Denman.
SAINTS 26 SALE 7

61mins
Huge break in midfield by Dickinson off Fotuali'i's pass and the big number 8 keeps going up to the Sale 5m line. Recycled and Dowson cuts inside to go over on the left. This time the TMO confirms the fifth! Myler converts as Haywood replaces Hartley.
SAINTS 33 SALE 7

64mins
Nothing going for Sale tonight. A creative looking move in midfield is abruptly ended with a forward pass and Saints will scrum on halfway.
SAINTS 33 SALE 7

66mins
Saints on the other hand sweep forward with ease and another penalty is sent for a line out. Ball is scrappy but Saints recover. When the ball gets bogged down at the breakdown Sale are awarded the set piece though. The Sharks change half backs, Fowles and Ford for Cliff and Cipriani, while Ken is on for North.
SAINTS 33 SALE 7

72mins
Another good looking attack from the Saints but Elliott is dragged into touch. A loose ball almost bounces kindly for Wood after a charge down but catches the back row off guard and he knocks on. Sale get the nod for a penalty at the scrum.
SAINTS 33 SALE 7

78mins
Fowles dashes through for the Sharks, only half held in each of two tackle attempts by the Saints. They do manage to stop him short but a penalty advantage is coming either way. Lineout maul is sacked - illegally so and a second maul produces the try for Jones. Ford adds the two extra points.
SAINTS 33 SALE 14

79mins
Man of the match for a second home game in a row is Sam Dickinson. Another all action, lung bursting performance from the number 8 who has really stood out yet again in only his fourth Aviva Premiership appearance. Saints go looking for a try to end things.
SAINTS 33 SALE 14

FT
It isn't forthcoming, but hardly matters. A display that was at times scintillating has produced five tries - Burrell, North, George, Dickson and Dowson those to cross - with Mr 200 Stephen Myler kicking the remainder of the points. Brilliant stuff from the Saints at the Gardens again and a bumper home crowd go home happy.

Just the small matter of Leicester away next up… we'll see you there!

SAINTS 33 SALE 14

TIMELINE
6mins SALE Miss pen Cipriani
13mins SAINTS Try Burrell Con Myler 7-0
23mins SAINTS Try North 12-0
32mins SAINTS Try George Con Myler 19-0
36mins SAINTS Yellow Clark
40mins SALE Try Cueto Con Cipriani 19-7
HALF-TIME SAINTS 19 SALE 7
44mins SALE Miss pen Cipriani
54mins SAINTS Try Dickson Con Myler 26-7
61mins SAINTS Try Dowson Con Myler 33-7
78mins SALE Try Jones Con Ford 33-14
FULL-TIME SAINTS 33 SALE 14

SAINTS - Foden; Elliott, George, Burrell, North; Myler, Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley (capt), Mercey, Lawes, Day, Clark, Dowson, Dickinson

Reps - Haywood, Waller, Denman, Manoa, Wood, Fotuali'i, Wilson, Ken

SALE - Arscott; Miller, Cueto, Forsyth, Brady; Cipriani, Cliff; Lewis Roberts, Taylor, Cobilas, Kulemin, Paterson, Braid (capt), Seymour, Easter

Reps - Jones, Harrison, Thomas, Mills, Ostrikov, Fowles, Ford, McKenzie

AVIVA MAN OF THE MATCH: Sam Dickinson

ATTENDANCE: 12,872

REFEREE: David Rose

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