Premiership: Sale Sharks 18-13 Northampton Saints
|Sale (7) 18|
|Tries: Solomona 2 Cons: du Preez Pens: du Preez 2|
|Northampton (5) 13|
|Tries: Reinach, Sleightholme Pens: Grayson|
Sale Sharks lifted themselves off the foot of the Premiership table with victory over Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The visitors led just a minute into the match when Cobus Reinach crossed, but James Grayson missed the extras.
Sale led by two points at half-time when Robert du Preez converted after Denny Solomona touched down soon after.
Ollie Slightholme levelled the match at 10-10 but Solomona sent the hosts ahead once more as they held out to win.
Sale had been bottom since their 31-25 defeat by Saracens on 17 November and their misery looked likely to continue as Reinach put Northampton into an early lead.
Saints missed the chance to take a one-point lead heading into the break but Grayson's poor kicking continued as his penalty flew wide of the mark.
Sleightholme scored for Saints on his debut in their win against Wasps last week and added another try on only his second appearance, this time midway through the second half.
However, Solomona broke back with another try for Sale moments later as they registered their first win in the Premiership since beating Newcastle Falcons on 6 October.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond: "I'm not pleased with the performance if I'm honest.
"We created a lot of chances, but we just couldn't get there with maybe five or six other opportunities. We had some ball and managed to eke out a win in the end.
"I thought Northampton were very good on the floor, they slowed a lot of ball down.
"There were three line breaks where they were allowed to slow the ball down, which we will have a look at and have a chat with the referees about it."
Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd: "We're disappointed not to get a win, but we probably didn't deserve it to be honest.
"We didn't control the breakdown, we didn't bring that contest for the ball, and they were better than us today.
"We were OK in the set-piece, scrum and lineout, so that source of ball was good, but when we're trying to play a game of possession and you make that many mistakes, it's going to cost you in the end.
"For a young team, being able to dominate successive games or a series of games is a good challenge."
Sale: S James; Solomona, O'Connor, L James, Reed; R Du Preez, De Klerk; Harrison, Webber, John, Beaumont, Phillips, Ross (capt), B Curry, J-L Du Preez.
Replacements: Langdon, Bristow, Jones, Evans, Postlethwaight, Cliff, Wilkinson, Odogwu.
Northampton: Furbank; Kellaway, Dingwall, Burrell, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Reinach; Waller (capt), Fish, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Moon, Wood, Ludlam, Harrison.
Replacements: Marshall, Van Wyk, Franks, Barrow, Eadie, Gibson, Mitchell, Sleightholme.
Referee: JP Doyle.