Saints get their Christmas festivities off to a great start with a three-try victory over Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens.
The home side wasted no time in showing their guests their intentions and got themselves on the scoreboard after just four minutes. Ben Foden was the receiver of the score after a well worked move in the midfield.
Just moments later Saints thought they were over the tryline again but Nic Groom was denied their first of two potential tries for the even after the pass to him from Ken Pisi was deemed to go forward.
Saints were made to wait twenty minutes before their next score came, however, after Sale began to push their hosts lines. But Saints defence prevailed and they were denied a score until the second half was well underway.
Twenty eight minutes in and Saints got over the line again after a period of pressure on their guests line. On his 200th appearance for the club, Alex Waller made a break through the Sale line and offloaded to the skipper Tom Wood who made it over the whitewash. Myler added his second conversion to take Saints 14 unanswered points as the game went into the break.
Sale came out after the break with more intensity and pushed their way into the Saints 22 for one of the first times in the game. But the away side were not to break through, instead Saints pushed themselves and a break from Aviva Premiership debutant Juan Pablo Estelles got them close. Groom slipped through a gap in the Sale line and thought he had scored once again but as before a visit to the TMO denied the scrum-half the score.
Myler sent a penalty through the posts just after to see Saints 17 points to the good but Sale managed to get themselves on the scoreboard a few minutes later as a well finished try from debutant Denny Solomona was allowed by the TMO.
Saints began to push again and a link between replacement prop Ethan Waller and Myler in the Sale 22 got the home side close once again. But it was to be a fumbled tap penalty with the clock run down that got Saints the win. Luther Burrell collected the ball after Sale’s replacement scrum-half knocked the ball on and powered through the Sale defence to score under the posts in extra time. Myler added the extras to top off a great Christmas present for the home side.
4mins SAINTS Foden Con Myler 7-0
28mins SAINTS Wood Con Myler 14-0
HALF TIME Saints 14 Sale 0
58mins SAINTS Pen Myler 17-0
66mins SALE Try Solomona 17-5
80mins SAINTS Try Burrell Con Myler 24-5
SAINTS Foden; Pisi, Burrell, Hanrahan, Estelles, Myler, Groom; A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Lawes, Day, Wood, Harrison, Picamoles
Subs – Clare, E Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Kessell, Wilson, Tuitavake
SALE Haley, Solomona, James, Leota, Charnley, MacGinty, Phillips; Harrison, Webber, Aulika, Evans, Ostrikov, Neild, Lund, Ioane
Subs – Briggs, Flynn, Longbottom, Beaumont, Mills, Mitchell, Arscott, Seymour