Northampton Saints claimed an important 24-5 win over Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday.
Tries from Englishmen Ben Foden and Tom Wood secured the victory, before a last minute score from Luther Burrell saw them score three home tries for the first time this season.
A try on his Premiership debut for Denny Solomona was the only reply Sale could muster, despite dominating large parts of the second half.
Full-back Foden scored the first try of the evening inside four minutes, as he stepped inside to go over under the challenge of James and Haley. Myler slotted the conversion.
Northampton came close to doubling their lead soon after, when Picamoles ripped the ball from AJ MacGinty, but Ken Pisi’s final pass to Groom was adjudged to be forward.
Saints captain Wood eventually carried over for his side’s second just before the half hour mark, when a well worked lineout move gave Alex Waller the chance to find the flanker, and Myler added the extras.
Scrum-half Mike Phillips was sent to the sin-bin with a minute of the first half left to play, but the visitors looked the more promising side on the other side of the break.
Myler added three more points to the Saints’ tally midway through the second half, as a sustained spell of Sharks pressure amounted to nothing.
Sale finally opened their account in the 66th minute, when League convert Solomona finished emphatically by diving in to the corner to ensure he wasn’t taken in to touch, although MacGinty’s kick flew wide.
A last minute try from Burrell came after James Mitchell’s pass was intercepted inside his own 22, with Myler’s simple conversion rounding off an assured victory at home.
For Northampton Saints:
Tries: Foden, Wood, Burrell
Cons: Myler 3
For Sale Sharks:
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 JJ Hanrahan, 11 Juan Pablo Estelles, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Tom Wood (c), 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 James Wilson, 23 Nafi Tuitavake
Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Josh Charnley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 Magnus Lund (c), 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Jonathan Mills, 21 David Seymour, 22 James Mitchell, 23 Tom Arscott
Referee: Greg Garner