Manoa stars in Northampton win

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Published: Saturday 11th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Samu Manoa scored his first ever hat-trick as Aviva Premiership champions Northampton powered to a comfortable 43-10 victory over Sale at Franklin’s Gardens.

Brothers George and Ken Pisi and fellow Samoan Kahn Fotuali’i also crossed as Saints registered six tries in total, while Stephen Myler kicked 13 points in a dominant display.

Mark Jennings grabbed a consolation try for a spirited but over-run Sale, who have now lost four of their opening six matches.

Sale started with intent, twice kicking penalties into the corner, but despite Marc Jones coming within a metre of making that bold statement even louder, it failed to bring them any points.

Courtney Lawes got over the ball to stop Jones and then had a hand – or two – in the first points of the game as he charged down Jennings’ kick and the resulting pressure brought an easy penalty for Myler to make it 3-0 after seven minutes.

Some fantastic footwork from Ken Pisi then saw him score the opening try after 16 minutes. With seemingly nothing on 20 metres out, he danced around a static Jonny Leota, handed off another tackle and dotted down. Myler missed the conversion to leave the home side 8-0 in front.

Four minutes later Northampton had their second try when Jones’ throw overshot the lineout on his five metre line. Manoa gladly collected the throw to roll over and the extras made it 15-0.

Sale responded with a penalty from Danny Cipriani but any jubilation was short-lived as Saints crossed again.

Ken Pisi was on his right wing when Myler pinged a cross-kick to him, and the winger won the aerial tussle with Tom Arscott before sending older brother George over in the corner.

Myler was again successful from the touchline to make it 22-3 seven minutes before the break.

Sale ended the half as they had begun it, pressurising Northampton’s try-line from a five metre lineout, but they again failed to convert it and had only Cipriani’s penalty to take show for their efforts at half-time.

Lawes had a try scrubbed off by the TMO for a foot in touch three minutes after the break, but the bonus point did eventually come from a lineout drive. This time Manoa was on the back of it for his second try, which Myler converted on 54 minutes.

Northampton pressed the repeat button four minutes later as Manoa hung on the back of another five metre lineout drive for his hat-trick.

Sale had the consolation of not only scoring a try but running in the best one of the match, as a sweeping move from inside their half saw Jennings dive under the posts. Joe Ford’s conversion made it 36-10.

But the Saints forwards, with their replacement front-row including England hooker Dylan Hartley, reasserted their dominance by shunting backwards a Sale scrum on the visitors’ five metre line. The ball squirted out for Fotuali’i to pick up and complete the rout.

Published: Saturday 11th October 2014 by The News Editor

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