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Aviva Premiership: Northampton grab bonus-point win over Sale
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- Mallinder pleased for North
- Young delight at first win
- Baxter's good foundations
- Ford looking to motor on
- McCall hails 'satisfying' win
- Burke takes Tigers positives
- Davies delight at comeback
- Wasps off the mark in style
- Tigers climb with Exeter win
- Falcons downed by Gloucester
- Saracens retain perfect start
- Bath too good for Irish
Northampton drew level with Saracens at the top of the Aviva Premiership table after easing to a 33-14 victory over Sale at Franklin's Gardens.
George North scored his first try for the Saints while Luther Burrell, George Pisi, Lee Dickson and Phil Dowson also touched down and Stephen Myler kicked four conversions.
Mark Cueto and Marc Jones scored tries for Sale but the away side never threatened to upset the odds.
Sale made the brighter start but it was Northampton who opened the scoring on their first visit to the opposition 22, Dylan Hartley softening up the Sharks defence before Burrell scythed through.
North then scored his first try in his fourth game since signing for Northampton after sustained pressure saw Jamie Elliott get within inches of the line before he popped up an offload for Wales star.
It was already looking like a routine win for Northampton and their third try came after 30 minutes when Dickson looped round from a lineout and spotted a big gap before offloading for Pisi to dive under the posts.
Sale then responded with some pressure of their own, homing in on the try-line before Calum Clark was forced to kill the ball. Referee David Rose had no hesitation in showing him the yellow card.
With the clock dead Cueto finally made Sale's extra man and intense pressure tell as he cut back on a hard line, blasting past two tacklers to touch down, with Danny Cipriani's conversion making it 19-7 at the break.
Cipriani missed a relatively simple penalty while Clark was still off the pitch and with their full numbers restored Northampton sealed the bonus-point try.
After Samu Manoa powered through the defence, Northampton smashed their way up to the Sale try-line and Dickson, who was outstanding in front of England coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree, faked a pass to Burrell before squirming over.
Elliott looked to have scored a stunning fifth try as he collected his own kick, but the TMO showed the ball had clipped the touchline before bouncing back into his arms.
Dowson did score Northampton's fifth after a fantastic break from No 8 Sam Dickinson, who seared through the line and sidestepped a tackler before offloading. A couple of passes later Dowson had squirmed over.
In the final minute Sale had some comnsolation with a lineout drive handing Jones a converted try.
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com