'Something was clearly missing': Sanderson on Sale's big comeback win over Leicester
Sale boss Alex Sanderson is hoping for a repeat of last year’s heroic run to the Premiership play-offs after his side secured a stunning 35-26 comeback win over leaders Leicester at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.
Trailing 21-5 in the second half, the Sharks ran in four tries in half an hour to shock the Tigers and take all five points, cutting their deficit to the top four to 14 points as they sit ninth.
And director of rugby Sanderson, whose side reached last year’s play-offs thanks to an eight-game winning streak, is optimistic that this can be the starting point for another charge up the table.
He said: “That was a fantastic game from the lads, and what a dramatic turnaround.
“Something was clearly missing in that first half in terms of intensity and putting the pressure on, but we definitely finished the game strongly and got a terrific result.
“Our physicality and pace was great to see, and after a game and a performance like that I can’t take the credit.
“All of the credit has to go to the players – they deserve that.
“This kind of result certainly bodes well for the future. It’ll lift energy and intensity around the place.
“The team just keeps improving in lots of different areas, and we’re building momentum just at the right time in my view.
“Provided we keep lads fit and available, we know we have the talent to get the results as long as we keep performing.
“We won eight games on the bounce last year, so we know we’ve got that in us.
“After that it’s all about the belief.”
Tigers, for whom Argentina captain Julian Montoya crossed twice, looked in control despite being without a number of England players, notably George Ford. His replacement Freddie Burns had a fine game but went off just as Sale started to come back.
Despite the loss, director of rugby Steve Borthwick was impressed at the showing from his young side.
He said: “I thought the effort from all of my players was magnificent throughout.
“We had a young team out, of course, with lots of young players, but to a man they gave it everything.
“It was just two really good teams going at it out there and it was a good game to watch, I thought.
“The result hasn’t gone our way, obviously, but we’ll go away and learn from it.
“For large parts of the game we competed really well and the lads that came in were exceptional.
“I adjusted the team as best I could, but we just came up short in the end.
“We’ll all have a good review of the game and learn as much as we can from it.
“We review previous results quickly and then move on to what comes next for us, and what we can do better.”
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