Sale Sharks captain Dan Braid is calling on his troops to load their guns for a full on assault against Harlequins with the Manchester side’s hopes of bagging a European berth next season on a knife edge.
Sale, who welcome their London opponents at 2pm this afternoon, lie seventh in the Aviva Premiership though after a weak display against London Irish two weeks ago they are five points behind sixth-placed Wasps.
With the top six sides guaranteed a spot in next season’s Champions Cup, Braid knows the miniumum that is required of Sale against Quins and Newcastle (also at home next weekend) is to win big.
“There’s no room for errors now. With everything to play for we’ve got to get back to our home form,” Braid told MM.
“We’ve turned over a couple of big sides this season and Harlequins are another one who we targeted at the start of the season, we haven’t beaten them for a little while.
“Their style of rugby has really had the edge on us so we’re very motivated in that regard but we’re going to have to mix some very good defence for how they play and fire some shots ourselves.”
Sale have won seven of nine home games in the league this season and last time out they turned over Gloucester while earlier scalps include pacesetters Northampton and second-placed Saracens.
“There’s that fired up feeling at home, when you’re playing on your own patch and protecting your home ground,” Braid explained when asked about why Sale’s home form was so different to their away record this season.
“You have to match that and if you’re off by a few percent as a visiting side you’re going to get beat.
“The loss against Irish has made our task tougher but we’re very motivated to maintain the form we’ve had at home.”
Despite the in-form Danny Cipriani making a mistake that proved costly in the Irish loss, Braid was quick to point out rugby is a team game and tight-knit Sale will always stand and fall together.
“Across the board we didn’t play very smart and Danny’s in the stand out position.
“We know we weren’t quite there mentally in that game but we’ve trained well this week and we’re really focusing on our own jobs.
“We’re not looking to individuals so much, when we’ve scrummed well we’ve created a platform for our backs and we’ve won games.
“So we have to be smart in what we’re doing as well as be aggressive, then bring Cipriani into the game like he can.”
Main image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.