Sale secured a win over Newcastle by defeating them 35-18. After an early penalty exchange Falcons flanker Brent Wilson scored from a forwards move off a five-metre scrum.

Karena Whihongi hit back for Sale before Macleod’s kick was gathered by Tom Brady to cross in the corner.

After the break Macleod added more points with the boot before Chris Leck’s sin-binning let Wilson in again.

Sale started much the brighter and had points on the board through Macleod’s boot after just 90 seconds as referee Dean Richards proved a harsh judge of any handling on the ground.

The hosts were penalised for the same offence shortly after, Falcons fly-half Jeremy Manning equalling the score.

Wales under-21 international Macleod added six more points with his boot as Newcastle began to struggle with Sale’s quick phases.

But it was the visitors who claimed the first try as Wilson went over from a move off a five-metre scrum, Manning slotting a fine touchline conversion to put Newcastle in front for the first time at 10-9.

Sale pressed with Dwayne Peel’s rapid passes picking out thundering runs by Wihongi and Andrew Sheridan. And it was debutant Wihongi who emerged with the ball from under a pile of bodies for their opening score.