Luke James scored two tries as Sale Sharks thrashed Bristol 40-7 to jump above their visitors and go second in the Premiership table.
Sharks made a host of changes following their midweek win at Wasps, with Tom Curry, Lood de Jager, Faf de Klerk and Manu Tuilagi among those returning, and they subsequently outclassed the Bears.
A narrow defeat to Exeter halted a seven-match winning streak last time out for Bristol and they never looked likely to bounce back here, with Sale enjoying an emphatic start that saw James and Denny Solomona touching down in the first 10 minutes, while both conversions were on the money.
De Klerk and Sam James had Sale 26 points to the good just after the half-hour mark, though Alapati Leiua went over at the other end late in the half to at least give Bristol a lifeline.
But the Sharks found their groove again early in the second period, with Luke James getting his second try before Marland Yarde grabbed Sale’s sixth and last of the day – AJ MacGinty took his conversions tally to five for the match soon after.
The comfortable win sees the Sharks replace Bristol in second place, with Exeter nine points clear at the summit.
— Sale Sharks (@SaleSharksRugby) August 29, 2020
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