Friday’s Premiership: Saints snatch win, Sale stay in play-off hunt

James Grayson held his nerve to kick a late penalty which saw Northampton secure victory over Harlequins; Sale overcame Newcastle with a bonus point to stay in the hunt for a Premiership semi-final place

Last Updated: 29/04/22 11:06pm

James Grayson celebrates at full-time in Northampton's victory over Harlequins James Grayson celebrates at full-time in Northampton's victory over Harlequins

James Grayson celebrates at full-time in Northampton’s victory over Harlequins

We round up all the action from Friday’s two Premiership matches, which saw important wins for Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks…

Northampton Saints 32-31 Harlequins

James Grayson held his nerve to fire over a superb 50-metre penalty to beat Harlequins 32-31 in a thrilling contest and keep Northampton firmly in the hunt for a play-off spot.

Saints had to survive one of Quins’ trademark second-half rallies as the Londoners were comfortably second best when they trailed by nine points at the interval.

The visitors looked to have done enough when they led with only three minutes remaining, but Grayson’s kick proved decisive, with Quins scrum-half Danny Care picking up a late yellow card for dissent.

Andre Esterhuizen, Huw Jones, Alex Dombrandt and Cadan Murley scored Quins’ tries, with Marcus Smith converting all four and kicking a penalty.

Tommy Freeman, Lewis Ludlam, George Furbank and Alex Waller crossed for Saints, and Grayson added two penalties and three conversions.

Sale Sharks 35-27 Newcastle Falcons

Sale kept their Premiership top-four hopes just about alive with a bonus-point win over Newcastle at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Heineken Cup quarter-finalists deservedly ended their run of three straight home defeats in all competitions, scoring five tries along the way, but the Falcons were right in contention until the final quarter of an hour.

The visitors led 15-14 at the interval, but Alex Sanderson’s team rallied impressively in the second period on their way to a 10th Premiership win of the season.

Two tries from Akker van der Merwe, one each from Ben Curry, Simon Hammersley and Ewan Ashman, all of which were converted by Robert du Preez, ensured victory for the Sharks.

George McGuigan, Joel Hodgson, Mateo Carreras and Matias Orlando went over to ensure Newcastle claimed a try-scoring bonus point too, with Joel Hodgson kicking two conversions and Alex Tait landing a penalty.

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