Premiership: Saracens 40-19 Sale Sharks

Ernst Joubert (centre)
Saracens are two points clear at the top of the Premiership after four matches
Aviva Premiership
Saracens (30) 40
Tries: Goode, Joubert, Penalty try, Barrington
Cons: Hodgson 3, Wigglesworth Pens: Hodgson 3, Goode
Sale Sharks (7) 19
Tries: Seymour, Brady, Penalty try
Cons: Cipriani 2

Alex Goode's early try set Saracens on their way to a fourth successive Premiership win, extending their 100% start to the season.

David Seymour went over for Sale before Ernst Joubert's try, a penalty try and the reliable kicking of Charlie Hodgson helped establish a 30-7 lead.

Tom Brady reduced the deficit after the break, but Richard Barrington went over to secure Sarries' bonus point.

Sale were awarded a penalty try for their third five-point score late on.

Sarries are the only unbeaten side in the Premiership with Bath losing at champions Northampton, who move to second in the table.

Goode got Saracens off to the ideal start, side-stepping lock Jonathan Mills and weaving his way over the line. Hodgson added the extras and the first of three penalties to put the hosts 10-0 up.

Seymour peeled off a driving maul to dive over for Sale's response, but Hodgson teed up another two penalties before the Sharks invited more pressure on themselves by conceding possession.

England wing Ashton shifted the ball into the hands of Joubert, who forced his way over, and Hodgson's conversion crept over off the upright.

Vadim Cobilas came off the bench to instigate Sale's second-half revival, making the break which ended with a Brady score.

Sale again went close before Goode was shown a yellow card for coming in at the side, but it was Saracens to added to their lead with Barrington burrowing over after England Under-20 international Nick Tompkins made solid progress.

Sale responded with a penalty try after another impressive line-out drive.

Both sides finished a man down as Saracens lock George Kruis and Seymour were sin-binned, before Goode kicked a penalty to complete a comfortable victory.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"That was our first home game of the season and we showed some good intensity.

"Our fundamentals were very good in the first half and put them under a lot of pressure. Our scrum was particularly good.

"We were pretty relentless and ruthless in that first half, but less so in the second half. "Give Sale some credit, they fought really hard in that second half, but overall it's a job well done."

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:

"We were demolished in the first half. We weren't at the races, but Saracens were.

"We rallied in the second half and should have put another couple of opportunities away and maybe got the bonus point, but we were thoroughly beaten.

"We have no qualms, it was a fair result. There aren't many positives you can take from a match when you've conceded 40 points."

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Taylor, Barritt (capt), Strettle; Hodgson, de Kock; Gill, George, Johnston, Kruis, Botha, Wray, Burger, Joubert.

Replacements: Spurling, Barrington, Du Plessis, Hamilton, Brown, Wigglesworth, Ransom, Tompkins.

Sin Bin: Goode (61), Kruis (74).

Sale Sharks: McLean; Brady, Leota, Jennings, Arscott; Cipriani, Cusiter; de Marchi, Mamukashvili, Lewis-Roberts; Mills, Paterson; Lund, Seymour (capt), Easter.

Replacements: Neild, Harrison, Cobilas, Beaumont, Fahiki, Cliff, Ford, Forsyth.

Sin Bin: Seymour (74).

Attendance: 8,000

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU).

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