Five tries from a clinical Saracens side kept the pressure on Wasps and Exeter as they brushed aside Sale at Allianz Park.
The 41-13 victory condemned the Sharks to their third defeat of the season. Sarries leapfrog both Wasps and Exeter into top spot ahead of their clash at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Newcomer Liam Williams got his try scoring account up and running with a score in the first half. There were also tries from Nathan Earl, Vincent Koch and a Ben Spencer double to secure maximum points.
Williams Off The Mark
Saracens went into the tie unbeaten against the Sharks in six meetings. That run of victories never looked like faultering as Sarries dominated the opening exchanges.
After setting up camp in Sale’s twenty-two, the home side were rewarded for their prolonged efforts. Scrum half Ben Spencer dummied from close range to get the first points of the afternoon.
With the try converted, Sarries attacked once more and pegged Sale back on their own goal line. Spencer, looking ever more dangerous, opted to attack the blindside and a supporting Williams dived over for his first try for the club.
Farrell added the extras once again, doubling his side’s points after just ten minutes.
Sharks Defence Bombarded
Farrell proved more than a handful for the Sharks’ defence. After regathering a deft chip and offloading, the fly half looked at his best as he continued to control his side’s attack.
Billy Vunipola’s game was brought to an abrupt end after he suffered what appeared to be a leg injury. The No.8 was helped off the pitched and replaced by Calum Clark just before the break.
Sale could only muster three points from the boot of Faf de Klerk in a half where the Sharks failed to cause any problems.
Farrell further extended the lead after the break, slotting a penalty and further denting Sale’s hopes of a comeback.
The floodgates opened thereafter and Spencer touched down for his second of the game and fourth of the season. A clean break from Duncan Taylor sent Spencer under the posts.
The bonus point was wrapped up with a quarter of an hour still to play. This time prop Vincent Koch getting over the whitewash after some smart handling in the build up.
After going four tries down after sixty-five minutes, Sale began to play. Byron McGuigan scored what looked like a consolation try for the visitors. But the replacement scrum half picked up a second in the dying stages to give his side some positives to ponder.
Good Start Pleases McCall
Even after Sarries scored a fifth through Earle the damage was well and truly done. Sarries overtake both Exeter and Wasps into top spot ahead of their showdown on Sunday. Sale drop to tenth, with eleventh place London Irish yet to play also on Sunday.
Speaking to the media after game, Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “I thought we were brilliant for the first twenty minutes. It was nice to get the job done so quickly in the second half and have the bonus point after sixty minutes.”
McCall added: “We were physical in defence, the speed of ball we got in attack was good. A couple of things just frustrated us. The most pleasing thing was the energy we showed right from the start.”
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