Boks feature prominently on Friday scoreboards
WRAP: South African names featured prominently on the Friday scoreboards, as Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks recorded wins.
James Grayson landed a late penalty as Northampton Saints claimed the most courageous of wins, 32-31, against Harlequins.
Grayson stepped up with three minutes to go, landing a penalty from the halfway line in a breathless encounter against the reigning Premiership champions.
Forgotten Springbok Andre Esterhuizen scored one of Harlequins’ four tries.
* In the other Friday game Sale Sharks won the battle of the two northern clubs at the AJ Bell Stadium, battling back from a point down at the interval to take the full five with a 35-27 win.
Sale kept their Premiership top-four hopes just about alive, as the European Cup quarterfinalists ended their run of three straight home defeats in all competitions.
For the Sharks, another forgotten Bok, hooker Armand van der Merwe, scored double, while flyhalf Robert du Preez kicked five conversions to help Sale to record the crucial ‘W’.
* Friday scorers and scorers
Northampton Saints 32-31 Harlequins
For Northampton Saints
Tries: Freeman, Ludlam, Furbank, Waller
Cons: Grayson 3
Pens: Grayson 2
Tries: Esterhuizen, H Jones, Dombrandt, Murley
Cons: Smith 4
Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tommy Freeman, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Lewis Ludlam (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Emmanuel Iyogun.
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Aaron Hinkley, 21 Tom James, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ollie Sleightholme.
Harlequins: 15 Huw Jones, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Tom Lawday, 6 Stephan Lewies (captain), 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Simon Kerrod.
Replacements: 16 Jack Musk, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Will Collier, 19 James Chisholm, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Nick David.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald, Wayne Falla
TMO: Rowan Kitt
Sale Sharks 35-27 Newcastle Falcons
For Sale Sharks
Tries: Van der Merwe 2, B Curry, Hammersley, Ashman
Cons: R du Preez 5
For Newcastle Falcons
Tries: McGuigan, Hodgson, Carreras, Orlando
Cons: Hodgson 2
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Sam James, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Jack Metcalf, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Jean-Luc du Preez, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Bevan Rodd.
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Connor Doherty, 23 Simon Hammersley.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Will Welch (captain), 6 Gary Graham, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Philip van der Walt, 3 Richard Palframan, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Trevor Davison.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 George Merrick, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 James Blackett, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Luther Burrell.
Referee: Jack Makepeace
Assistant referees: Alex Thomas, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Hamish Smales