'That really looked like us' - Dowson pleased with Saints' performance against Sale

Phil Dowson says Saints looked a lot more like themselves in the 24-10 win against Sale Sharks on Friday night.
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Tries from Burger Odendaal, Ollie Sleightholme, Trevor Davison and Ewan Baker gave the black, green and gold victory at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

It was Saints' final chance to sharpen up ahead of the return to Gallagher Premiership action at Bristol Bears next Friday night.

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And Dowson was happy with the display, which was an improvement on the 45-29 defeat to DHL Stormers at the Gardens six days earlier.

Phil Dowson (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Phil Dowson (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

"What we talked about last week was last week being a pre-season game and blowing the cobwebs off," Dowson said. "There were some things we were disappointed with, some things we were really happy with.

"There was lots of that tonight that really looked like us. We were a bit sharper and a bit more urgent and a bit more on page with our plan so we're pleased with the night.

“There's still loads to do, lots of lads to welcome back into the environment and we've got to make sure we do that really well and prepare for Bristol.

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"Hopefully Sale got what they needed out of that and it's minutes in the bank for people like Tom Seabrook, James Ramm, George Hendy, Courts (Courtney Lawes) so we're as prepared as we can be for Bristol."

Seabrook was forced off seven minutes before the end of the game against Sale, having received a lengthy spell of treatment.

And with the wing only just back from a long-term ankle problem, there will be fears that he could be sidelined again.

"I'm hoping it's precautionary," Dowson said.

"Obviously it's been great to have Tom, James Ramm and George Hendy back.

"Hopefully it's not too bad."

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Seabrook was an impressive performer for Saints against Sale.

So who else impressed Dowson?

"I thought Temo Mayanavanua was excellent," said the Saints boss.

"I thought Jonny Weimann as a 17, 18-year-old on debut was brilliant and the lads were singing to him 'you've got school in the morning'.

"There were lots of really good parts of the game.

"I thought Burger (Odendaal) was excellent, and Tom Litchfield as well so there were lots of really positive performances."