Dan Braid challenges Sale Sharks to finish away campaign ‘on a high’ with win over Northampton Saints

By James Scott

Sale Sharks flanker Dan Braid is determined to match the formidable Northampton Saints pack in their penultimate Aviva Premiership encounter at Franklin’s Gardens.

The resounding victory over play-off chasing Gloucester at Salford City Stadium moved Sale up to a season’s best of tenth in the table.

Braid is crucial to Sale’s upturn in fortunes since signing in January, and the former All Black is adamant his side won’t take their foot off the gas.

“We’re playing some good footie at the moment but it will be a tough ask against a tough Northampton pack,” said Braid.

“We’ve got to front up and give it a crack before the last game at home, which we will look to finish on a high.

“It was great feeling to beat Gloucester and it was an outstanding performance.

“The boys were excited because we knew what hung on the game and we showed a great front as a team and a unit.

“We’ve worked hard on building on those sorts of performances since I’ve been here in January, they don’t come overnight, but we’re getting our getting our forwards into the game now.”

Sale’s turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable given they were 13 points adrift of relegated London Welsh when Steve Diamond took the reins on Boxing Day.

The Sharks have since amassed 25 points, and are in a position to challenge Worcester for ninth position in the Aviva Premiership ladder.

Braid insisted the Sale squad have learned valuable lessons from a tumultuous season at Barton, and admitted the mood in the camp has certainly lifted.

“I think in life when you go through tough times you learn the most,” said the 32-year-old.

“The squad have learnt how to deal with adversity this year as a group and we’re confident that next year if we play well together we can get results.

“There’s definitely a better feeling in the camp now than when I first joined up!

“We’re still down near the bottom of the table and we understand that, but the guys are happy with the achievement of coming back from so many points behind.”

More than 8,000 people turned out to see Sale run-in five tries against Mike Tindall’s Gloucester last Friday, and Braid paid tribute to the Sharks faithful.

“It’s awesome to have the support we have at Salford City Stadium,” said Braid.  

“To be honest, playing back in New Zealand their crowds aren’t that loud, they don’t sing like that, it’s half the crowd you’d get at Super Rugby games but they’re three times as loud.

“When they get those songs going it really does lift you.”

Line-up:  Mike Haley, Tom Brady, Mark Cueto, Jonny Leota, Charlie Amesbury, Danny Cipriani, Dwayne Peel, Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor, Henry Thomas, Kearnan Myall, Tom Holmes, Richie Vernon, David Seymour, James Gaskell

Replacements: Marc Jones, James Flynn, Aston Croall, Josh Beaumont, James Doyle, Nathan Fowles, Sam James, Charlie Ingall

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks

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