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Saracens beat Sale to return to top of table

Alex Lozowski

Alex Lozowski kicked 13 points for Saracens and set up his side’s third try

Saracens returned to the top of the Premiership after winning at Sale.

The hosts led 7-3 midway through the first half courtesy of Josh Beaumont’s converted try but Sarries replied through Marcelo Bosch’s score and a penalty from Alex Lozowski.

Saracens extended their lead after the break when Matt Gallagher went over and, after AJ MacGinty and Lozowski traded penalties, Sale lost momentum.

Ben Spencer’s breakaway try with 10 minutes remaining sealed victory.

Saracens, without injured locks Maro Itoje and George Kruis and several key players because of international commitments, were clinical when chances came their way at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Two breakaway second-half tries made the game comfortable, as Schalk Brits intercepted a line-out to help set up Gallagher for his first senior try soon after the break and Spencer raced away after gathering an offload from Lozowski.

Sale’s hopes of a comeback had been dented when Halani Aulika was sent to the bin for swinging an arm at Jim Hamilton, although Sarries lock Michael Rhodes later saw yellow for a high tackle.

Premiership and European champions Saracens have only lost one of their last 11 league meetings with the Sharks, and Mark McCall’s side now have a three-point lead over second-placed Bath.

Sale Sharks: Haley; Addison, James, Tuitupou, Odogwu; MacGinty, Stringer; Harrison, Briggs, Mujati, Evans, Ostrikov, Neild, Seymour, Beaumont (capt).

Replacements: Webber, Flynn, Aulika, Ioane, B Curry, Phillips, Jennings, Arscott.

Sin Bin: Aulika (59).

Saracens: Fenby; Ellery, Bosch, Barritt (capt), Wyles; Lozowski, Wigglesworth; Barrington, Brits, Figallo, Rhodes, Hamilton, Brown, Burger, Wray.

Replacements: Spurling, Lamositele, Du Plessis, Flanagan, Conlon, Spencer, Tompkins, Gallagher.

Sin Bin: Rhodes (67).

Referee: Andrew Jackson.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37990501