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Match Report: Northampton Saints 25 Sale Sharks 34

03 Mar 2018
Match Report: Northampton Saints 25 Sale Sharks 34

Denny Solomona scored a first-half hat-trick as Sale Sharks won at Northampton Saints for the first time in 12 years.

The Sharks had lost on their past nine visits to Franklin’s Gardens but a superb first-half showing that saw Solomona run riot and Marland Yarde also register a try, left the Saints shell-shocked.

Northampton did eventually respond after the break with Michael Paterson, Rob Horne and Heinrich Brüssow scoring, but it was too little, too late, despite two Sale sin-bins.

Saints staff and supporters had worked together to clear snow from the ground to get it on and when it did Sale started strongly.

After Ben Foden was bundled into touch five metres from his own line, the Sharks set up a move that was eventually finished by Solomona wide on the right.

Faf de Klerk and Piers Francis exchanged penalties before  Sale responded with a fine score, with winger Yarde starting a move that was finished by Solomona.

Francis cut the deficit slightly with another Northampton penalty, but Sale refused to relent and Solomona registered his hat-trick try after being released by de Klerk.

The scrum-half kicked the conversion and then set up a fourth Sharks with his box kick booted ahead by Yarde, who gathered to dot down.

However, Northampton flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half, with lock Paterson scoring two minutes after the restart while Jono Ross was sin-binned for Sale.

Northampton were suddenly looking like a totally different side and they scored again after a fine pass from Francis found Horne on the right.

De Klerk landed another penalty but Northampton would not give up and Brüssow scored his first Saints try nine minutes from time but it was too little too late.