SALE director of rugby Alex Sanderson praised AJ MacGinty’s performance after his side eased past Northampton 30-6 on home turf at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

Sale languished down towards the bottom of the Premiership table after losses to Leicester and Worcester in recent weeks, though rebounded strongly.

Akker Van Der Merwe, Marland Yarde and Jono Ross all scored tries, while MacGinty successfully kicked three conversions and three penalties in a high-quality display.

Saints were limited to just two penalties from the boot of James Grayson, finding themselves unable to break down Sale’s defence.

It was MacGinty’s performance that received the most praise from Sanderson afterwards, who also said the return of experienced players benefitted them.

Sanderson said: “AJ was magic. I always like to get the bench on but he was in such a good flow and I just wanted to leave him on and he kept kicking the goals.

“We haven’t really seen AJ this season and he’s pretty much the finished article. He got back into his groove and that’s the AJ I expect to see for the rest of the season. He just pulls the strings like a good 10 does.

“The boys who came back in gave us a little bit of experience.

“I’ve still got faith in the other lads and I’m still going to rotate them and play them, but on a wet night like this, you tend to turn to those players who have been there and come through it - and they have stepped up today.”

Meanwhile it was a disappointing evening for Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd, who was left ruing the fact several key players were injured or on international duty.

He said: “Without grizzling about it, we’ve got 10 away with international duty and 11 injuries and we ended up having to put five props on the bench because we simply didn’t have anybody left.

“We’re getting pretty tight on the old roster.

“We chose to play downwind and we were 13-6 down at half-time, so the writing was on the wall then.”