Aviva Premiership report - Owen Farrell stars as Saracens ease past Sale
Owen Farrell notched 22 points as Saracens cruised to a comfortable 32-12 win over basement boys Sale at Vicarage Road.
Last Updated: 07/01/13 7:37am
The defeat leaves Sale five points behind London Irish at the foot of the table and they only had four Danny Cipriani penalties to show for their efforts.
Two of those came inside the opening ten minutes, the second from just inside his own half, as the visitors were rewarded for a positive start with a 6-0 lead.
But that was as good as things got for the Sharks and by the half-hour mark they found themselves trailing 15-6 as Farrell punished their indiscipline with some precise kicking from the tee, slotting five quick-fire penalties of his own.
It was to remain that way until half-time with both sides struggling to get out of the middle third of the pitch.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Cipriani brought his team back within six points with a penalty made all the more kickable thanks to some Saracens backchat.
But within two minutes, those points were rendered meaningless with Farrell again making it look easy with his sixth penalty, taken from just inside the Sale half.
Cipriani was to boot the visitors back within touching distance with an excellent, and somewhat fortuitous, strike from the halfway line which hit both posts before dropping over.
However, Saracens took a huge step towards victory in the 63rd minute - just after bringing on former Shark Charlie Hodgson.
A strong scrum led to Richard Wigglesworth passing to Hodgson, who with his first touch gave a quick pass to allow David Strettle to sprint in under the posts, giving Farrell an easy conversion.
The result was made safe with 10 minutes left and it was roles reversed from the first try as Strettle's deft grubber was simple for Hodgson to pick up and score.
Farrell kicked the extras again and the gap was up to 20 points, meaning that Sale were going to go back up to Salford with nothing to show for their efforts.