Faf de Klerk scored 10 of Sale’s 18 points

Aviva PremiershipSale Sharks (10) 18Tries: De Klerk, Curry Con: De Klerk Pens: De Klerk, CliffNorthampton Saints (12) 15 Tries: Reinach, Hayward Con: Mallinder Pen: Mallinder

Sale won in the Premiership for the first time since the end of September as they edged out Northampton.

Faf de Klerk’s early penalty for Sale was cancelled out by Cobus Reinach’s try, before Mike Haywood was forced over for Saints’ second.

De Klerk went over just before half-time and Sale took the lead soon after the restart through Ben Curry’s score.

Harry Mallinder’s penalty drew the sides level but Will Cliff’s three-pointer restored Sale’s advantage.

Saints, who were hampered by having three players sin-binned, went above Wasps into sixth from a game more thanks to their losing bonus point, while Sale stay 10th in the Premiership.

Sale – playing their first game since boss Steve Diamond was – saw fly-half James O’Connor have his kick charged down by Reinach, who gathered and raced over for the first score, with Hayward smuggling in the second at the base of the post.

Saints had Michael Paterson and Jamal Ford-Robinson sin-binned as the half went on, and the visitors felt aggrieved when De Klerk nipped in from the back of a scrum in acres of space when it looked as though Jamie Gibson had been held by a Sale forward.

Curry ended a sweeping move by Sale to draw level, but Marland Yarde was denied his second try in as many games since his move from Harlequins after an obstruction in the build up.

Ben Foden was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on with 18 minutes left, and Cliff kicked the resulting penalty which won his side the game.

Harry Mallinder twice had the a chance to kick Northampton level, once with four minutes left and another deep into stoppage time, but opted to kick for a line-out both times, with his side unable to convert on either occasion.

Sale: Haley; Solomona, James, Jennings, Yarde; O’Connor, de Klerk; Harrison, Webber, John, Evans, Ostrikov, Ross (capt), Curry, Strauss.

Replacements: Jones, Flynn, Aulika, Nott, Neild, Cliff, van Rensburg, Addison.

Northampton: Mallinder; Estelles, Hutchinson, Stephenson, Foden; Grayson, Reinach; Waller, Haywood, Ford-Robinson, Paterson, Dickinson (capt), Wood, Gibson, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, van Wyk, Hill, Moon, Eadie, Groom, Myler, Collins.

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