A costly Bryn Evans sin bin which saw Sale concede three tries in a ten minute span either side of half time condemned the Sharks to only their second loss of 2016 as they fell 26-11 to fellow top-six hopefuls Northampton Saints on Saturday afternoon.
Despite an excellent first half, Sale conceded twenty-six straight points in the game's last 42 minutes and were unable to muster anything in response as they slumped to a disappointing loss, compounded by Northampton's five points gained following JJ Hanrahan's late try.
One consolation to hold is that due to Gloucester's loss to Worcester, Sale remain tied with the Cherry and Whites on 38 points in eighth, but are now five points back of a top-six place, trailing Harlequins who have 43 points.
Sale now face the unenviable prospect of travelling to the free-scoring Wasps next weekend as the Premiership finally begins to shed itself of the mid-table parity that has characterised this season. Losses for both Sale and Gloucester could see the current top-six begin to pull away and both sides' Champions Cup ambitions begin to fade. Its an important week for the Sharks.
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