Fixtures - Top Bar

Braid buoyed by Sale Sharks’ recent displays

A narrow defeat to Leicester Tigers may have been tough to take last weekend but skipper Dan Braid insists it is further proof that Sale Sharks can go toe-to-toe with the Aviva Premiership Rugby big guns.

Despite opening up a healthy lead shortly after the break, Sale were hit by a second-half fightback and a last-gasp converted try – eventually beaten 32-30.

However, Steve Diamond’s side head into the New Year seventh in the league table, just four points behind third-placed Saracens.

And former All Blacks flanker Braid, whose return to fitness in October has coincided with the club’s impressive run of form, is keen to see Sale kick on in 2015.

“It's the half-way stage of the season and I think we are in good shape despite Saturday's big disappointment,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “We've got 30 points on the board and we're in a good place.

“We've played a couple of the top teams away from home so it's all up to us to keep on playing good rugby, to learn the lessons from each game and really look to kick on.

“I think the key lesson is about how to finish off games. We've been up so many times this year and then just fallen away at the back end and that happened again on Saturday.

“It's definitely a mental factor for us about when the pressure comes on, still believing in what your game is about.

“We played so well and dominated the first half and attacked so well but then we just lost our composure in the second half.

“It's a big lesson for us. We spoke about it at half-time, we were in a top match against a top team who would look to fight back and we needed to keep the pressure on them.

“A lot of credit has to go to them for the way they closed the game out but it makes it very frustrating that we let ourselves down when we had the game in our grasp.”

Next up Sale face a daunting trip to Wasps’ Ricoh Arena before hosting reigning champions Northampton Saints – but Braid is up for the challenge.

“There is a lot of positivity in the club,” he added. “We are playing very good rugby and I think we have a good mix between our set-piece and drive and our backs who are really clicking, with young guys like Mike Haley and Will Addison both being outstanding.

“So there are a lot of parts of our game which are coming right. For us now, it's just about taking that next step to beat the top Premiership sides. Week in, week out those sides play well.

“We've learnt a lot of lessons from the European games at home where we have been so close to winning and Saturday was another one.

“But as long as we learn the lessons I am confident we can keep progressing.”

Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer

Latest News

Jack Nowell relishing Exeter Chiefs return

Cornishman Jack Nowell says he cannot wait to pull on an Exeter Chiefs jersey again as he gears up for…

Jack Nowell

Mark Jennings Signs New Two Year Deal

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that centre Mark Jennings has signed a new two year deal with the club.…

Mark Jennings

Team News: Bristol Rugby vs Gloucester Rugby

Sam Jeffries is set for his first Aviva Premiership start when Bristol host Gloucester in the West Country derby on…

Billy Searle

Gloucester Rugby name side for West Country derby at Bristol

Henry Trinder will make his first start in the Aviva Premiership this season as Gloucester make seven changes to their…

Henry Trinder

Sam Lewis: Worcester Warriors not letting up

Worcester Warriors went a long way to securing their Aviva Premiership Rugby safety last time out but flanker Sam Lewis…

Michael Dowsett signs permanent Worcester Warriors deal

Warriors have completed the permanent signing of English-qualified scrum-half Michael Dowsett. Dowsett, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, has made…

Michael Dowsett

Newcastle Falcons sign forward pair

Newcastle Falcons have strengthened their forward pack for next season with the signings of Lyon prop Sami Mavinga and Jersey…

Sami Mavinga

Wasps’ Dan Robson set to earn 100th top-flight appearance against Worcester

Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson is set to make his 100th Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance when the league leaders host Worcester…

‘One Turf Concept’ agreed by rugby, soccer and hockey

World Rugby, FIFA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have developed a ground-breaking protocol for multi-surface playing fields that could…

Premiership Rugby Balls

Referee appointments: Wayne Barnes takes charge of 180th Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Wayne Barnes makes his return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action this weekend, as he takes charge of the huge…

Bath Rugby’s Semesa Rokoduguni raring to go for The Clash

Bath winger Semesa Rokoduguni is already counting down the days until his side meet with old rivals Leicester Tigers in…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV

England’s triumphant Six Nations stars will return to their Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this weekend to continue their assault on…

Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters re-sign with Harlequins

Harlequins is delighted to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd March) that Academy members Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters have committed their…

Calum Waters

George Nott Signs A Five Year Deal With Sale Sharks

George Nott has become the latest Sale Sharks player to commit his long term future to the club after signing…

George Nott

Will Hurrell: Bristol Rugby will fight until the very end

Bristol Rugby have been left to lick their wounds for almost three weeks following their disappointing defeat to Worcester Warriors…

Break came at the right time for rejuvenated Sale Sharks, says Magnus Lund

Sale Sharks’ Magnus Lund believes his teammates have taken the opportunity to clear their heads during the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

Leicester Tigers’ George McGuigan ready to kick on after Anglo-Welsh Cup triumph

Leicester Tigers hooker George McGuigan believes his side can draw on their Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over Exeter Chiefs when they…

Jonny May itching to return for Gloucester Rugby ahead of Bristol challenge

Gloucester Rugby winger Jonny May is raring to play again in club colours after featuring in three of England’s four victories in a title-winning…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that Marc Jones and Will Cliff have re-signed for Sale Sharks, both on two…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks