Saints book Premiership Semi with Sharks victory

Northampton Saints booked a place in the Aviva Premiership Semi-finals when they beat Sale Sharks 47-7 at Franklins Gardens.

The bonus point victory moves Saints six points above fifth place Gloucester with just one round left to play.

Northampton travel to Harlequins in a fortnight for a clash that will decided the semi-final fixtures, which are set to be hosted by Saracens and Leicester

The game got off to a slow start, until Stephen Myler opened the scoring for Northampton, converting a penalty, before following it up with another a few minutes later.

Northampton extended their lead in the 21st minute, Tom Wood crossing the line to score the first try of the game, Myler putting away the conversion.

They continued to dominate the proceedings in the first half, another try being scored courtesy of Lee Dickson, capitalising on a quickly taken penalty. Myler then stepped up to do the honours, scoring the conversion.

The last action of the first half came through Luther Burrell, who was given a try after confirmation from the video referee. This gave Northampton a 25-0 lead at half-time.

Northampton didn’t stop the pressure in the second half, Jamie Elliott running through to score a try after good build up play. Elliott then repeated the feat again less than ten minutes later to make the score 35-0.

Ryan Wilson scored a well-earned try to make it 40-0, and Ryan Lamb extended the lead by putting away the conversion.

Wilson then completed the Northampton rout by getting his second try of the game, running through a series of tackles on his way to crossing the line.

James Gaskell gave Sale a consolation try, and Danny Cipriani used the last kick of the game to score the conversion. None of this mattered however, as the game had been lost long ago.

Final Score Northampton Saints 47 Sale Sharks 7

Scorers

Northampton
Tries: Wood, Dickson, Burrell, Elliot 2, Wilson 2
Cons: Myler 2, Lamb
Pens: Myler 2
Yellow card: Lawes

Sale
Try: Gaskell
Con: Cipriani
Yellow card: Holmes

Match Officials
Referee:
Luke Pearce (13th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Watson & Kevin Stewart
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Northampton

15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Tom May, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 James Wilson.

Sale Sharks

Mike Haley, Tom Brady, Mark Cueto, Jonny Leota, Charlie Amesbury, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel, Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor, Henry Thomas, Kearnan Myall, Tom Holmes, Richie Vernon, David Seymour Captain, James Gaskell

Replacements: Marc Jones, James Flynn, Aston Croall, Josh Beaumont, James Doyle, Nathan Fowles, Sam James, Charlie Ingall

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