Updated: Friday, 10th July 2020 @ 7:36am

'Hands up': Young Sale Sharks impress despite Singha Premiership Rugby 7s defeat, says Mitchell

'Hands up': Young Sale Sharks impress despite Singha Premiership Rugby 7s defeat, says Mitchell

| By Andrew Lawton

Though Sale Sharks’ Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals day ended prematurely, James Mitchell believes several of his team-mates still made the most of their time to shine.

Sale began the day with a 24-17 win over Cardiff Blues, but suffered a 26-21 defeat to Exeter Chiefs in the semi-finals – Wasps eventually lifting the trophy on home turf at the Ricoh Arena.

But, with less than a month to go until Sale kick-off the new Aviva Premiership Rugby season at Newcastle Falcons, 21-year-old scrum-half Mitchell feels some of the club’s academy prospects could well enjoy a breakthrough campaign at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“There are a lot of young lads that put their hand up to try and break into the first team this year,” said Mitchell.

“That’s what we’ve been talking about as an academy, we want to try and push those senior players on and a few of the lads did that.

“Matt Rogerson played some really good rugby.

“He was drawing players in and giving them the ball. He put his hand up and so did the two Curry lads, Ben and Tom.

“They are just about to go and tour South Africa, they’ve been pushing the first-team players all season so it’s good to have them in the team.

“I think the whole team is really pushing the senior lads.”

Sale launched the day’s action at the Ricoh Arena and, after finding themselves 10-0 down to Cardiff Blues, rallied with second-half tries from the Curry twins, Paolo Odogwu and Curtis Langdon.

But the tables were turned in the semi-final as Exeter fought back from 21-7 down to triumph, as Harrison Cully crossed with 40 seconds to spare.

And Mitchell admitted he learnt a lot about how unforgiving 7s rugby can be.

“With this tournament being in pre-season it helps, because you are a little bit fitter,” he added.

“But nothing prepares you for the last five minutes of a 7s game, when there’s only seven players on the pitch and a lot of space out there to cover.

“In the first half I thought we were really good and played some good 7s rugby. Fatigue set in a little bit in the second half and we struggled out there.

“Fair play to Exeter, they moved the ball around and caused us trouble.

“It was disappointing to lose that lead, we were all gutted.

“We spoke afterwards and said there are a lot of positives to take, but to be 21-7 up and lose the game is quite devastating.”

For more information results and reaction on the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Final in Coventry at the weekend – please visit www.premiershiprugby.com

Image courtesy of Premiership Rugby via YouTube, with thanks.