Sale Sharks must improve defence to banish away day blues, says forward Hines

Sale Sharks veteran forward Nathan Hines says with a rock steady defence like last week the Manchester club can pose a threat to Harlequins this evening and climb the Premiership table. 

Sale, without an away win this season, go into round eight looking to get back on track after throwing away leads in two of their last five matches in all competitions.

However after last weekend’s 36-8 defeat of London Irish, lock Hines believes his side need to shore up their defence in order to see out results.

“On Friday there’ll be a big emphasis to make sure our defence is as good as last weekend against London Irish,” he told MM.

“We didn’t get too challenged in defence then, but away from home against a good attacking team like Harlequins, you want to make sure you defence is rock solid first then build on that.”

Hines echoed coach Steve Diamond’s comments last week about dealing with the mental aspect of closing out wins.

“It’s been a frustrating start to the season for the squad in general because we’ve got in good positions against several teams but let games slip away.

“We’ve rectified our set pieces and now it’s functioning well. We’re in a good place, could be a better one, but we’re not too far off.”

Sale’s opponents, as ever, are targeting Danny Cipriani as the man who makes them tick.

Nick Easter, Harlequins no. 8, believes that although Cipriani is not trying to run the show alone anymore he is still capable of individual brilliance.

“They have Cipriani and a lot of stuff goes through him,” he said. “He is playing very well and just doing the basics well.

“He is trying to be less of a magician than before. The ratio and percentage of plays he is trying to take on himself is probably a lot lower and he has a big kick on him so we must be disciplined.”

Sharks have named an unchanged team from last weekend’s Premiership triumph for tonight’s clash.

Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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