Manoa scores hat-trick as Saints shatter Sale

George Pisi goes over for his try in the thrashing of Sale at Franklin's Gardens (pictures: Sharon Lucey)
George Pisi goes over for his try in the thrashing of Sale at Franklin's Gardens (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Samu Manoa scored a hat-trick as Saints sunk Sale Sharks 43-10 with another unstoppable Aviva Premiership performance at Franklin’s Gardens.

Jim Mallinder’s men have now scored 127 points in just three home games this season and are looking every inch the reigning champions.

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174629009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174629009

The impressive Ken Pisi sparked the Polynesia-inspired deluge against the Sharks, slaloming his way over for a superb opening score, before Manoa got his first.

George Pisi registered Saints’ third try before the break as he dived over following fine work from his Samoan sibling.

And Manoa was celebrating his hat-trick inside 55 minutes as Sale struggled to cope with the home side’s power.

Centre Mark Jennings did register a fine consolation score, but Kahn Fotuali’i, on at fly-half as Saints gave Stephen Myler a late breather, completed the rout.

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174711009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174711009

Tries had been anticipated with the teams having racked up 18 apiece in their first five league games.

And it was Sale who were first to threaten, closing in on the line with menace before Saints squeezed a penalty out of the breakdown to relieve the pressure.

The home side made the most of the reprieve, with Courtney Lawes’ charge-down helping them fly down the other end, where Myler landed a penalty.

Sale were getting plenty of their own though, with Danny Cipriani turning up the heat by kicking for the corner.

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-173953009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-173953009

But Saints’ defence was fericious, stopping the Sharks’ momentum and providing a platform for pursuits into opposition territory.

Sale’s rearguard looked equally tough to penetrate, until a moment of magic from Ken Pisi, who cut through the Sharks to score a superb try.

Myler missed the chance to add the extras and the Sharks were soon at the door again. But again, Saints defence, backed by the fervent home faithful, stood tall.

It was a good start from the men in green, black and gold - and it was soon to get even better.

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174700009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174700009

Ben Foden put the pressure on Sale with a kick that found the corner and the visitors imploded, with hooker Marc Jones taking a quick lineout that went straight to Manoa.

If the first try was a moment of magic, the second was a moment of madness, and Manoa had taken full advantage. Myler took the score to 15-0 inside 20 minutes.

Cipriani ate into the home lead with a successful penalty soon after, but Sale were sloppy inside their own half and Saints were making them pay.

Tom Arscott tried to field a high crossfield kick from Myler, but Ken Pisi did superbly to beat his fellow wing in the air before offloading to brother George, who dived over the line.

Myler did well to make the conversion from the right touchline and Saints were rampant, sensing a bonus-point score before the break.

Sale managed to steady the ship a little, but troubled waters were never far away, with Saints turning the screw early in the second half.

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174004009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174004009

And after being denied a try by the TMO, they had their bonus point as Manoa used his side’s irresistible forward power to get his second score of the afternoon.

Myler made it 29-3 with the conversion and he was soon putting the gloss on another Manoa score.

The powerhouse No.8 completed his hat-trick on the back of another inexorable driving maul and the Sharks were drowning.

They did put their head above the water briefly as Jennings grabbed a consolation score, putting the finishing touches to a fine breakaway score.

But Joe Ford’s conversion only served to take the away side into double figures, with Saints soon crossing the whitewash again.

Fotuali’i was the man profiting from the forward power on this occasion as the ball flew out of the scrum for the Samoan to pick up and score.

James Wilson made it 43-10 with the conversion and the Gardens faithful were merciless, impelling their side to score more.

Instead, Sale were the ones applying the late pressure, but Saints showed their defensive defiance once more to see out another sizeable success.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi (North 57), G Pisi (Wilson 57), Burrell, Elliott; Myler (Fotuali’i 64), L Dickson; A Waller (E Waller 60), Haywood (Hartley 53), Ma’afu (Denman 53); Lawes (Clark 57), C Day; Wood, Fisher (Dowson 40), Manoa.

Sale: McLean; Brady, Leota (Forsyth 55), Jennings, Arscott; Cipriani (Ford 55), Cusiter (Cliff 55); Harrison (Harrison 55), Jones, Cobilas (di Marchi 55); Beaumont (Mills 55), Paterson; Lund, Seymour, Easter (Fihaki 55).

Replacements: Neild, Lewis Roberts.

Referee: Andrew Small

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174618009

Saints V Sale. NNL-141110-174618009