FORMER Australia international James O'Connor created one try and scored another as Sale Sharks made it three successive Aviva Premiership victories with a 32-9 triumph over Bath at the AJ Bell Stadium.

In a poor first half full of errors, the kicking of Rhys Priestland and AJ MacGinty dominated the contest, with the former scoring three penalties to the latter's two.

Todd Blackadder's Bath side ended the first period 9-6 in front, but Sale controlled the early stages of the second 40 minutes and touched down via Josh Strauss and Byron McGuigan.

The Sharks remained on the front foot and deservedly sealed a bonus-point win when O'Connor and Will Cliff crossed the whitewash.

Steve Diamond's men set out with the intention to move the ball wide early on but the visitors were initially more than adept in preventing the hosts from creating opportunities.

Sale were conceding ground with their inability to get over the advantage line and Priestland benefited. Twice the Sharks needlessly infringed and both times the Wales international was on target from the tee as Bath moved into a 6-0 lead.

MacGinty responded for the home team with a penalty of his own before further Bath ill-discipline allowed Sale to build some momentum.

With 10 minutes remaining of the half, it was the turn of Blackadder's side to produce their first significant foray into the opposition 22 and, unlike the Salford-based club, they came away with points.

Priestland's three-pointer, following a scrum infringement, duly moved Bath 9-3 ahead, but MacGinty reduced the arrears at the break.

After struggling for fluency in the first half, the hosts began the second period brightly and put together an excellent attack. Starting from the halfway line, they went through a number phases before Faf de Klerk fed Strauss and the number eight touched down.

Evidently buoyed by that score, the Sharks were soon over again when good work from MacGinty and O'Connor gave McGuigan an easy run to the line.

Bath attempted to hit back but they were met by stubborn resistance and, as their frustrations grew, Sale took control.

It was not long before Diamond's side were over for a third time as excellent hands from forwards and backs alike allowed O'Connor to scamper across the whitewash for the match-securing effort.

Kahn Fotuali'i almost responded but Bath were being outplayed and Cliff scored the fourth try to complete a fine afternoon for the home team.