Sale Shark boss Steve Diamond is dreaming of Europe next season in the wake of his side pulling off one of their best victories in recent years.
Sale continued their assault on the Aviva Premiership’s top four as they demolished a Northampton Saints side littered with returning international giants.
Saturday’s stunning win over the star-studded title favourites, who were on an 11-match winning streak and hadn’t lost since September, is arguably Sale’s most significant victory since their unforgettable Heineken Cup triumph over Munster in 2005.
“This was definitely the biggest win of the season. We had seen this type of victory coming as we have played well against the top sides but hadn’t managed a victory,” said Diamond.
“If we get into the top four it’s anybody’s competition. It’s probably a little bit too far for us at the moment so we are focusing on getting into the top European competition, whatever it may be.
“We have been doing well all year and just haven’t cracked a top four side so we are just continuing to go in the same direction that we have been for the past 15 months.
“We are confident of putting in a good display at Bath and we will see where that takes us.”
Diamond’s side are now focused on their Friday night fixture against play-off rivals Bath at the Recreation Ground.
As it stands Bath currently command third place with a seven-point advantage over a Sharks side who are gaining momentum.
“I think we have found a good balance in the pack, the pack doesn’t change much maybe one or two personnel changes, but we just hope that players stay fit,” said Diamond.
“Against Bath we will definitely have to look after George Ford who is a very good player and their forward pack is very big. We need to get parity in the forwards as well as look after their key man Ford to come away with something.
“Our senior players will be very important: the captain and senior guys are integral to our success.”
Coming off the back of an outstanding display Sharks took another step towards securing European rugby.
“We don’t have a target for the end of the season we just take every game as it comes,” said Diamond.
“If we do finish in the European places I am really excited to play in the new European competition. The players want to play in it and the coaches want to coach in it, it is always good to be in the top competitions.
“The European competition will help the club, as for the last years 20 years pretty much 10 of those years Sale have been in the Heineken Cup.”
Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.