Premiership: Sale Sharks 14-10 Saracens

Sam Tuitupou and Alex Goode
Tuitupou's try was his second in the Premiership this season
Sale Sharks (14) 14
Tries: Tuitupou, Mills Cons: Cipriani 2
Saracens (3) 10
Try: Barrington Con: Goode Pen: Goode

Sale recorded their first Premiership victory over Saracens since 2011 to maintain their play-off push.

Alex Goode's penalty gave Sarries an early lead but converted tries from Sam Tuitupou and Jonathan Mills gave the hosts a 14-3 lead at the break.

Saracens, briefly reduced to 13 men in the first half, improved in the second period but Sale's defence held firm.

The visitors secured a losing bonus point through Richard Barrington's late try after Mark Cueto was sin-binned.

Saracens were forced into a late change before kick-off, with fly-half Charlie Hodgson missing out through injury. Chris Wyles came into the side at full-back, with Goode switching to fly-half to cover for Hodgson's absence.

Sale break Sarries hoodoo
Sale's only Premiership victory over Saracens in their previous 12 meetings since 2008 was 28-22 at Edgeley Park on 2 January 2011

On a fine, clear afternoon at the AJ Bell Stadium, Sale took a deserved lead midway through the first half after Goode had put the visitors ahead.

Danny Cipriani, who signed a new two-year deal during the week, was the architect as the England international showed brilliant invention to pop the ball out of the back of his hand to Tuitupou, who crashed over from two metres out.

Cipriani then converted for a 7-3 lead.

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger was sin-binned for not using his arms in a tackle on the half hour mark but Sale could not capitalise on their numerical advantage until just before the break, when the visitors were reduced to 13 men after Richard Wigglesworth's high tackle on Chris Cusiter.

Sale had a five-metre line-out and their forwards showed patience and strength as their driving maul pushed over the line and Jonathan Mills touched down, allowing Cipriani to convert for an 11-point lead.

Goode missed a chance to reduce the deficit after half-time, putting a 47th-minute penalty wide of the posts.

In a committed defensive performance, the home side soaked up concerted pressure until Cueto was shown yellow for deliberately knocking on when Sarries were close to scoring.

Barrington powered over for a consolation try and Goode converted to make it 14-10 but Saracens had no time left to mount a comeback.

Sale fly-half Danny Cipriani:

"You look at the youngsters we have coming through here at Sale and it's exciting.

"I feel like we're really building something here and as a squad we're doing extremely well.

"We're going to invest for next season and, if we add to this squad, I think you'll see how powerful we can be."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"Overall I'm really disappointed but particularly with that first-half performance.

"Sale were excellent, give them credit for that, but we were off our game in that first half and the two yellow cards didn't help.

"We weren't good enough in the first half but were a lot more professional in the second half. They defended brilliantly, though, but it was important to get a bonus point in what is a really competitive league."

Sale Sharks: Haley; Addison, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto; Cipriani, Cusiter; Lewis-Roberts, Jones, Cobilas, Mills, Hines, Braid (capt), Seymour, Beaumont.

Replacements: Taylor, De Marchi, Harrison, Lund, Easter, Cliff, Ford, Arscott.

Sin Bin: Cueto (76).

Saracens: Wyles; Ashton, Bosch, Barritt, Strettle; Goode, Wigglesworth; M. Vunipola, George, Du Plessis, Itoje, Hargreaves (capt), Joubert, Burger, Wray.

Replacements: Sharman, Barrington, Figallo, Smith, Hankin, De Kock, Tompkins, Mordt.

Sin Bin: Burger (29), Wigglesworth (39).

Attendance: 6,854

Referee: Dean Richards (RFU).

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