Sale Sharks’ Danny Cipriani must produce a performance every week, insists John Mitchell after vital win

By James Scott

Sale Sharks director of rugby John Mitchell urged Danny Cipriani to add consistency to his game after collecting 18 points in a crucial victory against Worcester Warriors.

Having missed the defeat to his former club Wasps last weekend, Cipriani produced a mature defensive and attacking display as the Sharks claimed a 33-27 victory. 

Marc Cueto scored the decisive try, equalling Steve Hanley’s all-time Aviva Premiership record, to add to Richie Gray and James Gaskell’s first half scores. 

Former Sale player Mitchell insisted his side deserved to claim their second Aviva Premiership victory of the season, and urged Cipriani to build on his performance.

“We played some very good football,” said the former All Blacks head coach. 

“Danny Cipriani played well, defensively he showed some improvement tonight, but I’d still like to see him get his shoulders on, I’m sure everyone would.

“He stiffened up defensively which is what we asked him to do, which is a sign of a player wanting to improve, but it’s not just about him, it’s about him playing his role within the team.

“He is a very talented individual, and that was a very good team performance and clearly with a guy of his class we need him to be at that level every week not just one in three. “

In a night of ill-discipline from both sides, Worcester’s Chris Pennell and Nikki Walker were sin-binned, before Sale substitute Fraser McKenzie was shown a yellow card.

Andy Goode kicked 17 points to become Worcester’s all-time points scorer, which along with tries for Neil Best and Matt Kvesic, was not enough for the Warriors. 

Mitchell was delighted with former England winger Cueto’s scoring, and praised the veteran’s attitude.

“Mark Cueto has been a fantastic servant to Sale Sharks, and you have to admire the guy,” said Mitchell. 

“This year he has probably lost his role in international rugby but what people don’t see is the contribution he is adding to a lot of younger players. 

“Hopefully he goes on to break the record.”

The victory sees Sale move to within one point of fellow relegation scrappers London Irish, ahead of their trip to Saracens in the New Year. 

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks

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