Samu Manoa scored three of Northampton’s six tries as they thrashed Sale Sharks 43-10 at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
The hosts took control of the game from the outset and there was first-half tries for Pisi brothers; George and Ken, as well as the American second-row, Manoa’s first try.
The powerful Manoa added a further two tries of his own in the second-half, before Kahn Fotuali’i added gloss on the victory after Mark Jennings’ consolation try for the visitors.
Sale immediately took the game to the Saints, Danny Cipriani kicking an early penalty to the corner before his side undid their good work by holding onto the ball.
Stephen Myler was then presented with an opportunity from the tee after the Sharks were pinged offside – and he made no mistake in putting the first points on the board.
After a cagey opening 15 minutes, Pisi opened the scoring with some dancing footwork to race past Johnny Leota down the left flank to go over for the first try of the game.
Myler was unable to slot the conversion, but the home fans only had to wait a further five minutes to be on their feet again.
Manoa picked up a loose Sharks lineout and then broke forward to score. Cipriani reduced Sharks arrears only for Saints to go further in the lead.
A perfectly-weighted cross field kick by Myler was snatched out of the air by Ken Pisi, who fed through his onrushing brother for an easy score to leave the hosts comfortable at the break.
Northampton thought they had the bonus point wrapped up within moments of the restart through the efforts of Courtney Lawes, but the England lock was comfortably in touch.
But fellow second-row Manoa was not done scoring as replacement Phil Dowson cunningly handed the ball off from the back of a maul, allowing the American international to dive over.
And almost immediately after that effort, the Californian barged over the whitewash again – following another punishing maul – to put the reigning champions in total control.
Shortly after the hour mark Tom Brady broke from deep to spark a Jennings try but fresh from the bench, Fotuali’i collected a bobbling ball from a Northampton scrum to make the result even more emphatic.
Tries: K. Pisi, Manoa 3, G. Pisi, Fotuali’i
Cons: Myler 4, Wilson
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Jon Fisher, 6 Tom Wood (capt), 5 James Craig, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Christian Day, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 James Wilson, 23 George North.
Sale: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Tom Arscott, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Josh Beaumont, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth.
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell & Roger Baileff
TMO: Keith Lewis
- Planet Rugby