Premiership: Saracens 41-3 Sale Sharks
|Saracens (27) 41|
|Tries: Rhodes, Streather, Ellery 2, Fraser Cons: Hodgson 4, Goode Pens: Hodgson 2|
|Sale (3) 3|
|Relive Saturday's Premiership action|
Champions Saracens started the defence of their Premiership title with a comfortable bonus-point win over Sale.
Tries by Michael Rhodes, Tim Streather and Mike Ellery gave the hosts an impressive 27-3 lead at the break.
The Sharks improved after half-time but they struggled at both the scrum and line-out throughout the afternoon.
Ellery crossed for his second try after a clever reverse pass from Ben Spencer and substitute Will Fraser added a fifth try late on.
It took just four minutes for the hosts to open the scoring as debutant Rhodes was the man in the right place at the back of the driving maul.
Streather rounded Sale's Will Addison to touch down, before Charlie Hodgson, who was successful with all six of his kicks, showed a touch of class to put Ellery in.
At the start of the second half, Sharks lock Bryn Evans wasted the chance to cross when he spilled with the try line gaping in a rare attack.
Ellery's second secured the bonus point for Mark McCall's side before Fraser finished off a series of pick and drives from the forwards.
Sale winger Tom Arscott rounded off a miserable afternoon when he spilt the ball unchallenged over the try line in injury time.
Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Streather, Taylor, Ellery; Hodgson, De Kock; Gill, George, Du Plessis, Itoje (capt), Hamilton, Rhodes, Brown, Wray.
Replacements: Porecki, M Vunipola, Lamositele, Kruis, Fraser, Spencer, Tompkins, Ransom.
Sale Sharks: Haley; Arscott, James, Tuitupou, Addison; Cipriani, Cusiter; Harrison, Taylor, Mujati, Beaumont, Evans, Braid (capt), Seymour, Easter.
Replacements: Briggs, Flynn, Cobilas, Mills, Lund, Stringer, Macleod, Jennings.
Referee: Dean Richards (RFU)