|Sale (21) 24|
|Tries: Postlethwaite, Morozov, Hammersley Cons: du Preez 3 Pen: du Preez|
|Saracens (7) 17|
|Tries: Segun 2 Cons: Vunipola 2 Pen: Vunipola|
Sale went second in the Premiership with victory over Saracens, who were without banned captain Owen Farrell.
Matt Postlethwaite and Sarries wing Rotimi Segun traded tries before Sale stamped their authority with Valeri Morozov and Simon Hammersley scores.
Saracens were more competitive after the break, but still toiled on the hosts’ line with bodies rapidly tiring.
Segun’s second try in overtime earned Sarries a losing bonus point, after a successful penalty apiece.
The Sharks matched the wins for Bristol and Wasps to climb back into a home semi-final slot with just three games left.
Reigning champions Saracens – demoted to the second-tier for next season after repeated salary cap breaches – are now likely to have all eyes on Europe, with their big stars either in hock for the Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster on 19 September, or suspended in the case of England captain Farrell.
Sarries put out a largely young side at the AJ Bell Stadium that they may rely on in the Championship next season.
Try-scorer Segun and busy hooker Tom Woolstencroft, who captained the side in Farrell’s absence, were among their stand-outs as they showed character in the second half.
Steve Diamond’s Sale were by no means full strength but they were ruthless and with a dominant aire to their rugby throughout.
By bossing the scrums the Sharks were able to roll Sarries downfield, evidenced by the evidenced by the rapidfire, ruck-less offloading play which set the platform for Postlethwaite’s close-range score.
Morozov battered his way in after a series of scrum penalties weathered the Sarries pack, while fine handling showed the guile within the Sale ranks before Hammersley finished off following Arron Reid’s touch-back.
It was a little less free-flowing after the break, and director of rugby Diamond will surely have mixed feelings about the way Sarries clawed a bonus late on.
Sale Sharks: Hammersley; Roebuck, S James, Hill, Reed; R du Preez, Cliff; Morozov, Langdon, John, Postlethwaite, Phillips, Neild, B Curry (capt), D du Preez.
Replacements: Ashman, Rodd, Cooper-Woolley, Wiese, J-L du Preez, de Klerk, Curtis, Doherty.
Saracens: Obatoyinbo; Morris, Taylor, Socino, Segun; Manu Vunipola, Whiteley; Crean, Woolstencroft (capt), Clarey, Kpoku, Hunter-Hill, Clark, Reffell, Christie.
Replacements: Pifeleti, Hislop, Ibuanokpe, Boon, Venter, Day, Hooley, Sloan.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.