Sale Sharks director of rugby Bryan Redpath saluted Danny Cipriani’s stunning second-half show as they made a winning start to their Heineken Cup campaign.
Cipriani’s scored twice, with Mark Jenning’s grabbing a debut try as Sale, struggling in the Aviva Premiership, overturned a 15-point final quarter deficit to win their opening pool six encounter 34-33 against Cardiff Blues.
Three first-half scores from Cardiff’s Alex Cuthbert had put the Welsh side firmly in control, but Cipriani’s introduction changed the game, leaving his boss believing the recovery is on its way.
“It was great to see him perform like that and hopefully it will give us a huge confidence boost,” Redpath told the club’s website.
“His attacking flair has never been in question, but he has had three great kicks for field position and he made tackles when he needed to, and that was just as important.
“It’s been a tough six weeks. We’ve taken a lot of flak – quite rightly so in many ways – but hopefully we can turn the corner. The next two games are huge for us.”
Former Melbourne Rebels and Wasps man Cipriani replaced Nick MacLeod on 49 minutes and was straight into the action.
And the 24-year-old fly half wants a longer run in the side, but accepts the challenge for the shirt will be tough against former Welsh international McLeod, who kicked all of Sale’s first-half points.
He said: “Obviously I want to start. Mac is a long servant for the club and a great player.
“He wants that jersey, but if you’ve got tens going for it, and both playing well, that’s better for the team. I’ve got to keep working at it and hopefully I’ll get a start next week.”
The Sharks continue their Heineken Cup campaign away to Montpellier on Sunday, before resuming Aviva Premiership duties at Worcester at the end of October.