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Sale Sharks 'not so happy' with one area of the win over Quins

By PA
Dorian West, (R) the Sale Sharks forwards coach talks with Sale Sharks director of rugby, Alex Sanderson during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Sale Sharks and Harlequins at AJ Bell Stadium on April 21, 2024 in Salford, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Alex Sanderson believes Sale’s lethal attack can carry them all the way to another Gallagher Premiership final after they saw off play-off rivals Harlequins 37-31.

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Arron Reed scored two tries on his 100th Sharks appearance while Ben Curry, Sam Dugdale and Raffi Quirke also crossed at the Salford Community Stadium.

Quins trailed 22-10 at half-time but fought back, with Louis Lynagh scoring two tries and Cadan Murley, Oscar Beard and Luke Northmore also dotting down. Sale held on and now six sixth in the table, one place behind their opponents.

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They will likely need two wins from their last three matches to have a chance of making the play-offs and Sanderson is determined they will not be outworked.

“I was really tense towards the end, it was squeaky bum time, as it feels most weeks,” he said.

“I said at half-time you are going to have to work all the way to the final whistle. We had said the same pre-game as well. Byron McGuigan did the pre-game chat and said to the boys, ‘are you prepared to work harder than them for 80 minutes?’.

“I’m so proud of that, proud of the five points, of how we’re attacking at the moment, and we are looking much more dangerous.

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“I’m not so happy with how we failed to control the middle of the field, we lost a few of the kicking battles. I think we can work around the corner better, and a little harder defensively, and that would have shored up a couple of tries and meant I haven’t lost some years of my life in the last five minutes.

“Harlequins may have got two points, but if we keep racking up five then we’ll be alright. We had a good start, and it wasn’t so good towards the end but I’ll take it, its five points and that’s brilliant.”

Sale are three points off in-form Bristol and two off Quins, who have won one game fewer.

Quins boss Danny Wilson is convinced bonus points are going to be key and was relieved to see Northmore’s late try bag an extra one for his team.

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“I’ve been saying all season that this race for the Premiership play-offs will come down to bonus points, there’s no doubt about that, you’ve got to get your bonus points,” he said.

“Coming away from home, getting two points is important, we’re a side that is capable in doing that with the tries we can score.

“But the frustration today is more about what we conceded, we scored 31 points away from home and lost, which is disappointing. But there are positives we can take in the two losing bonus points.”

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