‘It’s about building momentum’: Richie Gray hopes victories can inspire Sale Sharks to Premiership survival

By Ed Owen

Richie Gray believes Sale Sharks are ready to build some winning momentum in the second half of their Aviva Premiership survival campaign.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Cup clash against Cardiff Blues, the 6ft 10in flanker acknowledged the task ahead for the bottom of the table Sharks.

But the 23-year-old believes everything is in place for the squad to reverse the form which has seen them notch only 192 points – the division’s worst attack.

“We certainly know that we have to start performing now, start winning games and pick up points,” said the ex-Glasgow giant.

“That is a big focus and we’re setting out plans for the next four-week block – They’re all very clear, it’s about building momentum and getting wins in the Prem.

“All you can do as a player is stick together, get on with training and put in place the game plans. That’s just what you have to do.”

The Sharks beat the Blues in their 34-33 in their last pool clash but both go into tomorrow’s fixture knowing they cannot qualify for the next stage of the competition.

Yet Sale will be keen to avoid bottom spot in the group, and will fancy their chances at Arms Park against a side enduring a six-game winless run in the competition.

And Gray – who earlier this week was named in Scotland’s 35-man RBS Six Nations training squad – hopes the team could use a win to kick-start their domestic form.

“The first half of the season has not been ideal by any means – nobody wants to be in the position we are in, certainly not the players or coaches,” he said.

“I certainly feel that we are building and we are progressing and doing better – we picked up a win and some valuable points over the Christmas period and against Montpellier.

“That stands us in good stead moving forward over the next couple of months, winning games and getting off the foot of the table.”

Following tomorrow’s game the Sharks will face Llanelli Scarlets in the LV Cup next Saturday before the domestic season resumes away at London Wasps in a fortnight.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Will Cliff, 1 Aston Croall, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 4 Tom Holmes, 5 Kearnan Myall, 6 James Doyle, 7 David Seymour (Captain), 8 Richie Vernon

Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Tom Cruse, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Mark Cueto

Picture courtesy of chrisnicolson, with thanks

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