Denny Solomona scored a try on his Premiership debut but Northampton Saints ended a four-match losing streak by beating Sale Sharks 24-5 in Friday's clash at Franklin's Gardens.
Jim Mallinder came under fire for fielding a weakened team in a 60-13 European Champions Cup drubbing at Leinster last weekend, but there was some respite for the Saints director of rugby after key men returned to inspire a much needed win.
Saints, who this week avoided punishment for allowing George North to return to the field despite apparently being knocked out against Leicester Tigers, took an early lead through Ben Foden's try and never looked back.
Returning club captain Tom Wood also touched down after good work following a lineout and Stephen Myler's penalty early in the second half gave Saints a 17-0 lead.
Controversial cross-code signing Solomona produced a fine finish in his second appearance for Sale, but Luther Burrell put the icing on the cake for Saints with a converted try right at the end as they moved up to sixth.