Premiership: Sale Sharks 36-8 London Irish
|Sale Sharks (22) 36|
|Tries: Seymour, Braid, Penalty 2, Forsyth Cons: Cipriani 3, Macleod Pen: Cipriani|
|London Irish (3) 8|
|Tries: Skivington Pen: Noakes|
Sale Sharks eased past a London Irish side that failed to recover from having two men sin-binned in the first half.
David Seymour grabbed a try and Danny Cipriani kicked a penalty before David Paice was first to be yellow-carded.
Dan Braid touched down before a penalty try was awarded, resulting in Luke Narraway being sin-binned, as Sale led 22-3 against 13 men at the break.
George Skivington grabbed Irish's only try between a second penalty try and Andy Forsyth's score.
The bonus-point victory moved Sale above the Exiles and up to sixth in the Premiership, although eighth-placed Wasps and Leicester Tigers in ninth will overtake the Sharks if they win on Sunday.
Irish converted their first sight of goal into points, with Chris Noakes successful with his kick after Sharks were penalised at a maul inside the opening minute.
Sale piled forward in search of a response, and after Cipriani turned down a probable three points to kick for the corner, Seymour was put through by Michael Paterson.
Cipriani added the extras, then made it 10-3 with his second successful kick after trading missed penalties with Noakes.
Sale captain Braid, making his first start in the Premiership since the opening day of the season, burrowed over for the hosts' second try as Irish failed to deal with their forward pressure following Paice's yellow card at a breakdown.
Back-rower Narraway was next to be sin-binned as the Exiles defence crumpled on their line, resulting in a penalty try.
Paice had returned to the field after the break before referee Matthew Carley awarded a second penalty try.
Irish looked to have hit back through Alex Lewington, but the television match official ruled that Tom Brady and Mike Haley had done enough to stop the winger from touching down at the end of a 50-metre burst.
And while Skivington eventually did go over for the Exiles, replacement fly-half Nick Macleod sidestepped two tackles to put Forsyth through for Sale's fifth try.
Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond:
"That's the Sale we know and that's what we want to see week in, week out.
"I was really pleased with the performance. We just needed to put in more than a 40-minute performance, we probably got a 60 or 70-minute performance today and I was disappointed to concede a try in the end as we looked so dominant.
"We need to get out of that rollercoaster, up and down inconsistency and be consistent. We can travel to Harlequins next week with no pressure on us."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith:
"I thought Sale were good, they brought a lot of intensity to the contest. We feel that we were a bit out-muscled and out-hustled.
"The back end of the first half, those 20 minutes where they nailed us at scrum-time and put the ball into the corner, they really screwed us then. With 13 players on the park they made that count and that was the contest really.
"We've got to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. We've been given a bit of a hiding and there are plenty of lessons to learn."
Sale Sharks: Haley; Brady, Jennings, Tuitupou, Arscott; Cipriani, Cliff; Lewis-Roberts, Jones, Cobilas; Mills, Paterson; Braid (capt), Seymour, Beaumont.
Replacements: Neild, Flynn, Harrison, Lund, Easter, Fowles, Macleod, Forsyth.
London Irish: Fenby; Lewington, Mulchrone, Griffin, Ojo; Noakes, Allinson; Court, Paice, Aulika; Skivington (capt), Cox; Low, Narraway, Guest.
Replacements: Stevens, Hagan, Halavatau, Lyons, Curry, Steele, Dorrian, Short.
Sin-bin: Paice (34), Narraway (40)
Referee: Matthew Carley