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Saints put 50 points past the Sharks

21 Feb 2004
Saints put 50 points past the Sharks

Eight tries – including a brace for Bruce Reihana – gave the home crowd plenty to cheers, and a full-house of points leaves the Saints nicely posed for a spot in the Zurich Premiership play-offs.

Sale Sharks, however, will return to Manchester in the knowledge that they have collected only one league win from their past six games.

The Saints wasted no time getting onto the scoresheet, with Kiwi Reihana scooping up a loose ball to score following a Darren Fox break.

Grant Seely stole a second try two minutes later after taking a quick line-out catch and driving his way to the Sale line.

The Sharks bit back through a Vaughan Going counter attack, following a break-down the ball was moved wide and Steve Hanley took the move on to cross in the corner.

Sale crossed the line again soon afterwards, but referee Roy Maybank judged that the last pass had been thrown forward.

Going made amends moments later by breaking clear of the Saints defence to power home for a try. USA star Mike Hercus added the conversion to pull the visitors within two points of the hosts.

But that was it for the Sharks – centre Graeme Bond missed a tackle in the centre of the pitch to allow a Saints attack to bloom behind him, and Reihana dived over in the corner for his second try.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, Mark Tucker secured his side a bonus point and the Saints went into the break 28-12 ahead.

Drahm secured another penalty early in the second half to leave the Sharks seriously behind, and when the Australian fly-half fed Spanish wing Oriol Ripol a try-scoring pass it was all over.

Replacement Johnny Howard scored after a series of five-metre scrums to send his side past the 40-point mark.

Later, Mark Soden was driven over in the corner for Northampton's seventh try, and Steve Williams punctuated the massacre with an eighth in injury-time.

The scorers:

For Northampton Saints:Tries: Reihana 2, Seely, Tucker, Ripol, Howard, Williams, SodenCons: Drahm 4Pens: Drahm

For Sale Sharks:Tries: Hanley, GoingCons: Hercus

For more news, try out Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks

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