Sale cruise to Irish win
Sale produced a dominant forward display to overwhelm London Irish's pack and claim a 36-8 triumph at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Chris Noakes gave Irish a 3-0 lead via a penalty, but Sale dominated the rest of the half and scores from Dave Seymour, Dan Braid and a penalty try opened up a 22-3 advantage for the hosts.
The Sharks claimed the bonus-point when they were awarded a second penalty try and, even though the Exiles scored a consolation through George Skivington, Andy Forsyth's touchdown rubberstamped the victory for the Sharks.
Both teams went into this game with identical records having secured two wins from six matches, but Irish would have been more content with their start to the campaign.
Brian Smith's men have already played all of last season's top-four, taking a surprise 22-19 victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the process, and they scored first here through the boot of Noakes.
However, without Shane Geraghty to control proceedings from centre, who has been outstanding in their first six Premiership encounters, they were soon on the back foot.
Although the Exiles escaped when Sale could not quite capitalise on a charge down kick, they weren't so fortunate a few minutes later.
Instead of opting for the posts following a London Irish infringement at the scrum, the Sharks decided to go for the lineout inside the opposition 22 and it paid dividends.
Despite the visitors halting the initial maul, Smith's side eventually succumbed to the pressure and Seymour went over from close range.
Danny Cipriani, continuing his fine form this season, added the extras and the hosts led 7-3.
The fly-half then had a chance to extend their lead after Braid had broken through the heart of London Irish rearguard and he duly converted the opportunity as the home team moved seven points clear.
Sale were now very much on the front foot and, after David Paice had received a yellow card for a cynical offence at the breakdown, they scored again, this time through Braid.
With the Sharks' driving game proving destructive, Irish could not cope and referee Matthew Carley awarded a penalty try and also sin-binned back-rower Luke Narraway.
To the visitors' credit, despite being down to 13 men at the start of the second period, they held out until Paice's return, but they could not resist the barrage and Carley awarded a second penalty try.
Even at that point it was effectively game over, although the Exiles briefly sprung into life when Alex Lewington's 50-metre burst almost resulted in a score, but an outstanding cover tackle prevented the winger from grounding the ball.
With nothing to lose, Irish looked to move the ball from deep and they created opportunities before they finally touched down through Skivington.
However, the final word was justifiably left to the Greater Manchester outfit as Nick Macleod broke through and off-loaded to Forsyth to go over.