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Preview: Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks

Preview: Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks

Fly-half Joe Ford believes Sale Sharks must show no fear against Northampton Saints if they want to come out on top at Franklin’s Gardens.

Only Wasps have picked up more Aviva Premiership Rugby points in their last six games than these two as their charge toward the top four gathers pace.

The last six meetings between Northampton and Sale have all gone the way of the home side, but Ford believes they can break the cycle.

“We just need to go and play,” said the 25-year-old.

“If we do that and are confident, execute and get a good set piece I don’t see why we can’t do a job.

“We can’t be scared to go to Northampton, because it’s away and they’re a big club, and let them take the first shots against us.

“We need to go and play against them and hopefully cause them some problems rather than sitting back and hoping we’re still in the game with 60 to go.

“Let’s go straight from the off and see what we’ve got. We feel if we do that we can cause them a lot of problems.”

The corresponding Aviva Premiership Rugby clash earlier this season saw Sale triumph 20-13, with Sam James and Will Addison crossing.

Centre George Pisi admits they were outmuscled at the AJ Bell Stadium as Saints lost for the second time in their opening three matches.

And, though they have since turned a corner, Pisi hopes his team will have learned their lesson from that November day in Greater Manchester.

“Sale are in the same predicament as us, chasing down a top-four place,” said Pisi.

“When we played them earlier in the season it was a real physical battle and they got the better of us.

“It’s something we have spoken about this week, being able to win the physical battle, or at least match them, and then hopefully we can take our opportunities and get the job done.

“I feel like the momentum is with us.”

Franklin’s Gardens, 2pm

Referee: JP Doyle (108th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe & Roger Baileff. TMO: David Sainsbury.

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