Northampton Saints 38-34 Sale, Premiership Sharks – Saints win impressive comeback

Northampton Saints defeated 14-man Sale Sharks thanks to late tries by Callum Braley and Fraser Dingwall.

Despite having Manu Tuilagi sent off for elbowing Tommy Freeman in the throat, the visitors had surged to a 17-point half-time lead.

But the Saints stormed back, cutting the deficit to 34-26.

Thomas Collins was the mastermind behind their comeback victory, setting up goals for both Braley and Dingwall.

Sale dominated the maul and scored in the ninth minute when the ball came out to Rob du Preez, who dabbed a precision kick through for Arri Reed to complete a simple try.

The visitors were soon a man down after referee Ian Tempest showed Tuilagi the red card, but they shrugged it off to add two more goals in quick succession and take a 19-point lead.

Gus Warr’s deft flick sent Tom Curry bursting through for a try, and du Preez then feinted another kick before stealing through a gap in the Saints’ defense to cross the whitewash.

Northampton responded with a goal under the posts from Freeman, but the Sharks maintained their lead despite having Jean-Luc du Preez’s close-range effort disallowed for an infringement in the build-up.

Sale continued to threaten from the lineout, and Ewan Ashman broke through for a bonus point and a 24-7 lead just before the break, despite Du Preez’s conversion attempt crashing into a post.

The Sharks’ fly-half made amends with a penalty shortly after the restart, but their numbers were further reduced when Cobus Wiese was yellow carded for a high tackle on Fin Smith.

That gave Northampton hope, and Freeman launched their comeback, going over off the back of a lineout before setting up Matt Proctor in the corner to cut the gap to 27-19.

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