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'We’re not done': Sanderson won't be content unless Sale win Premiership title

By PA
(Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

Alex Sanderson insisted his Sale Sharks side will not be content with their season unless they end it by lifting the Gallagher Premiership trophy following their 54-12 victory over Newcastle Falcons.

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Sharks crossed eight times in a comfortable outing on the final day of the regular season and now switch their attentions to the visit of reigning champions Leicester Tigers in next Sunday’s semi-final.

That occasion will mark Sale’s first home semi-final since 2005/06, when they recorded their sole Premiership triumph, and Sanderson hopes his in-form side can repeat that feat 17 years on.

“It has been a successful season, of course it has,” he said.

“We’ve been performing well and we’ve got a home semi-final, which we haven’t done for 17 years, so we’re happy about that.

“But we’re not content in saying ‘that’s us done’. We’re not done. We’ll be content when we bring home a cup.

“How other people judge it through the annals of time will become ‘were you or were you not champion material?’, and we’ll find that out now.

“There’s no place I’d rather be, no group I’d rather be with.”

Sale went behind to Pedro Rubiolo’s early try but hit back with eight unanswered scores, Sam James leading the way with a double.

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Tom Roebuck, Ben Curry, Bevan Rodd, Raffi Quirke and Arron Reed also crossed, along with a penalty try, leaving Sanderson satisfied with a job well done.

“We made some good decisions,” he said.

“We put pride in the basics, the real simple things in the middle of the park, because the odd ball that bounces or turns into a turnover attack is probably going to be the opportunity that wins or loses that game.”

Newcastle knew they would prop up the table regardless of the outcome at the AJ Bell Stadium, but did ensure they had the final say through Jamie Blamire’s late consolation.

By that stage, a 14th defeat of the season was guaranteed and coach Mark Laycock knows plenty of work lies ahead going into next season.

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“We’ll regroup, there are a lot of things for us to learn and take forward,” he said.

“The group that we’ve got next year is very new so it will be a big challenge for us to look at what we’ve got in terms of our strengths, and try and work out what combinations work best for us and how we need to play to maximise that.

“We came down here with confidence that we could go and put something on Sale and unfortunately we didn’t really deliver the gameplan. We didn’t have enough physicality and intensity to match them.

“I thought they did exceptionally well in strangling us out of the game and best wishes to them in their semi-final.”

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