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Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeRugby'I might relatively look unhealthy and win than look good and lose'

‘I might relatively look unhealthy and win than look good and lose’


Director of rugby Alex Sanderson insisted he was not involved by Sale’s faltering assault after the league leaders claimed a scrappy 11-9 Gallagher Premiership victory over Tub.

The Sharks conceded 5 turnovers inside Tub’s 22 within the second half and wanted George Ford’s 37-metre penalty with seven minutes remaining to grab the factors.

The guests led for almost all of the top-of-the-table conflict thanks to 3 Finn Russell penalties, whereas Sale’s Jonny Hill scored the one strive of the sport within the first half.

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Bath led 9-5 at the break and some desperate defending, including a 10-minute spell inside their own 22, kept them ahead before Ford sealed it.

Sanderson admitted there were areas to work on but as long as Sharks continued winning – this marked their sixth in seven league games – then he did not care how they did it.

“I would rather look bad and win than look good and lose,” he said.

“We found a way again, that is the third game of that nature where we have had to dig in and find a way to win through the set-piece.

“There was some George Ford magic at the end there and I am proud, very proud as always when they dig in like that and dominate the game physically – which I think they did – and territorially.

“As the night went on, we had five turnovers on the 22 so we will need to fix that and go again, there is a lot more in us.

“There is no long-term concern but as always, there is a focus on that area after tonight. I think defensively they were really good, so we leaned on our scrum and set-piece, which were very good and George was excellent as well.”

This was not a match that will live long in the memory but come the end of the season, it could be significant.

Sale look set for another strong push after losing in last season’s final, while Bath again showed their impressive start to the season was not necessarily a flash in the pan.

They are rebuilding under Johann Van Graan and – despite the defeat – the South African insisted they were on the right track.

“I feel proud, to come here and come so close is disappointing, but I have a lot of pride in the group,” he said.

“We kept the lead for 70-odd minutes, so that is tough to take but there is a lot of take from it.

“I believe we are on a journey, we are getting better and even though we lost tonight, we stayed in the fight and competed with the team on top of the lot.

“All credit to the defence, we stayed in the fight and when the top two teams play each other, it comes down to fine margins and some of our patches were terrific and so was our defence on the goalline.

“It came down to one penalty in the end.”



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