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Sanderson: Sale comeback would've been 'daylight robbery'

By PA

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Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson admitted it would have been “daylight robbery” if replacement Tom Curtis had succeeded with his last-minute conversion to complete a remarkable comeback victory for the Sharks.

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Curtis’ miss meant Gloucester held on for a 33-32 success in the Gallagher Premiership after they led 33-15 with only five minutes remaining.

Sale ran in three late tries to give Curtis the chance to kick his side to victory but he was unsuccessful from the touchline.

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Sanderson said: “It was almost Harlequinesque in the final period but it would have been daylight robbery if we had won.

“For the first 65 minutes, we were outplayed in almost every area. They were more physical, more dominant at the maul and their kicking game was better.

“We have to do better as our plan was to have a powerful maul but it never functioned and some of the game management needs more clarity as there was some poor decision making.

“I was really proud and impressed by some of the young lads but we need a few more of our leaders back. I was happy with our effort and fight but not happy about losing.”

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Louis Rees-Zammit, in his first match since returning from the Lions tour, scored two tries for Gloucester with Jack Singleton and Ben Morgan also touching down.

Raffi Quirke, Arron Reed, Gus Warr, Tommy Taylor and Daniel du Preez all crossed for a Sale side missing a number of key players, but Sanderson was upbeat on the return of his leading lights.

He added: “AJ (MacGinty) will be back next week with Tom (Curry) and Ben (Curry) will be available the week after so we will have a few big guns back in.”

Gloucester head coach George Skivington was relieved to have held off Sale’s stunning comeback and pick up a valuable five points.

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“My nerves are shot but I’m used to those tricky finishes as we were on the wrong end of a number of them last season,” he said.

“We put enough into that game to be comfortable and not put ourselves into that tricky position.

“There were a couple of soft moments and some of the lads have got to do better as they clocked off in the last 10 minutes so there will be some tough conversations.

“At times we were really clinical and put them under a lot of pressure and the boys did enough to win but it’s still a good learning curve for us.

“We have taken a big step forward in the first part of the season but we are still showing a bit of looseness.”

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