The Sharks tightened their grip on Pool One by recording a second successive victory, and owed much of it to Hodgson, who scored 18 points, including an opportunist try.
His England colleague Mark Cueto, elusive runner Daniel Larrechea, flanker Magnus Lund and centre Elvis Seveali’i also added tries, and Sharks left south Wales elated after collecting a bonus point.
Hodgson kept the scoreboard ticking over by converting all five touchdowns and booting a penalty that negated a second-half Dragons fightback.
Although the Dragons were briefly reduced to 13 men following two sin-binnings in quick succession, wing Gareth Wyatt’s third try in two Heineken Cup games ensured a degree of respectability.
Sale, though, are well on course for the quarter-finals, and back-to-back victories over Castres in December should prove enough.
Newport-Gwent D’gons scorers: Tries: Wyatt. Pens: Warlow 2.
NEWPORT-GWENT D’GONS: Morgan, Wyatt, Tuipulotu, Sweeney, Breeze, Warlow, Cooper, Maddcks, S. Jones, R. Thomas, Sidoli, Charteris, Hall, Forster, Owen.
Replacements: Bryant for Sweeney (80), Fussell for Breeze (50), Black for Maddocks (50), Ringer for Forster (68).
Sale scorers: Tries: Hodgson, Cueto, Larrechea, Lobbe, Seveali’i. Cons: Hodgson 5. Pens: Hodgson.
SALE: Larrechea, Cueto, Taylor, Seveali’i, Robinson, Hodgson, Martens, Sheridan, Bruno, Turner, Jones, Schofield, White, Lund, Chabal.
Replacements: Ripol for Larrechea (46), Todd for Taylor (77), Courrent for Martens (66), Titterrell for Bruno (53), Coutts for Turner (73), Lobbe for Schofield (57), Bonner-Evans for Chabal (71).
Ref: C Berdos (France).
Perpignan took control of Pool 5 in the Heineken Cup with a five-try victory over Cardiff Blues at Stade Aime Giral.
Christophe Manas, Nicolas Durand, Samueli Dawai Naulu, Gavin Hume and Ovidiu Tonita all went over as the French side took maximum points.
Jamie Robinson and Rhys Thomas managed to gain some respectability for Cardiff, who were trailing 37-0 with 15 minutes to go.
Perpignan scorers: Tries: Manas, Durand, Hume, Dawai-Naulu, Tonita. Cons: N. Laharrague 3. Pens: N. Laharrague 2.
PERPIGNAN: J. Laharrague, Dawai-Naulu, Marty, Grandclaude, Manas, N. Laharrague, Durand, Freshwater, Konieck, Mas, Gaston, Hines, Vaki, Goutta, Tonita.
Replacements: Hume for Grandclaude (37), Pez for N. Laharrague (62), Dupuy for Freshwater (62), Tincu for Konieck (56), Porcu for Gaston (56), Robertson for Goutta (58).
Cardiff scorers: Tries: J. Robinson, R. Thomas. Cons: N. Robinson 2.
CARDIFF: R. Williams, Czekaj, J. Robinson, Stcherbina, Morgan, N. Robinson, Phillips, Yapp, G. Williams, M. Jones, Quinnell, Sidoli, Sowden-Taylor, M. Williams, A. Powell.
Replacements: R. Thomas for G. Williams (59), Evans for M. Jones (53), D. Jones for Quinnell (73).
Ref: Alan Lewis (Ireland).
Leeds ended their dismal eight-match losing streak after overturning an interval deficit against Italian champions Calvisano to record their first win of the Heineken Cup campaign.
The Tykes have endured a disastrous start and their worst-ever run prompted director of rugby Phil Davies to take the decision to stand down on Thursday.
A management reshuffle at Headingley will see a new head coach taking charge of first team affairs in the wake of the losing streak.
And the size of the task facing the new incumbent was graphically illustrated by a Calvisano side which had lost its previous 13 Heineken Cup encounters.
The spirited Italians took advantage of Leeds’ glaring lack of confidence to storm into a 13-11 interval lead and put themselves on course for a shock victory. But the Tykes finally woke up after the restart and three second-half tries secured a hard-fought win which also handed Leeds the bonus point for scoring four tries.
Leeds scorers: Tries: Rawlinson, Palmer, Dunbar, Stimpson. Cons: Ross 2. Pens: Ross 3.
LEEDS: Stimpson, Rees, Vickerman, Snyman, Biggs, Ross, Marshall, Kerr, Rawlinson, Gerber, Murphy, Palmer, Hyde, Parks, Thomas.
Replacements: Doherty for Rees (55), De Marigny for Ross (79), McMillan for Marshall (79), Isaacson for Kerr (71), Bulloch for Rawlinson (55), Morgan for Murphy (71), Dunbar for Hyde (55).
Calvisano scorers: Tries: Vian-Schalkwyk. Cons: Kruger. Pens: Kruger 3.
CALVISANO: Vian-Schalkwyk, Nitoglia, Vaccari, Zanoletti, Tuta-Vodo, Kruger, Griffen, Bocca, Moretti, M. Castrogiovanni, Ngauamo, Purll, Zaffri, Mandelli, Zanni.
Replacements: de Carli for Bocca (), Ghiraldini for Moretti (51), Bernabo for Mandelli (55).