Sale Sharks wing Will Addison was tipped for England call up this summer by director of rugby Steve Diamond after his side’s 29-17 victory over Bath Rugby.
Addison scored Sale’s second try of the game to push them into a 17-3 lead at the AJ Bell Stadium, before Bath fought back to draw level.
It was two tries in the final ten minutes from David Seymour and Mark Easter which secured the full five points for Sale and denied Bath a losing bonus-point.
Sale travel to Bath again next weekend in a re-arranged round nine fixture, needing a repeat result to further enhance their chances of a top-six finish and qualification for the European Champions Cup.
And Diamond praised Addison’s performance although he faces tough competition from Chris Ashton and Christian Wade for a spot in Eddie Jones’ summer plans.
"Will Addison was the best player on the pitch, he should hopefully be getting some England recognition this summer,” Diamond said.
“TJ Ioane was outstanding; he is a great forward. He is brilliant defensively, and carries the ball strongly into contact.
"It was a hard game. Bath proved what a good side they are. It went down to the wire, with the scores level at 17-17 for a while.
“It was a bit error-strewn from us in second half. However, we managed to get field position in the last ten minutes and capitalise on that.
“We knew we had to get out of that rut in first twenty minutes of the second half. We didn't get any field position, but, once we had that, we pulled the trigger.”
The smoking gun of Sharks devastating last ten minutes meant Bath left the north-west with nothing to show for their efforts.
There was some good news from Bath forwards coach Neal Hatley post-match however, as he confirmed Kyle Eastmond was up, moving around and in good spirits after being stretched off.
Ultimately though, Hatley was left to rue his side’s missed chances after battling back to draw level after trailing by 14 points halfway through the opening period.
"Once we clawed our way back to 17-17, we put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Hatley said.
“We're really disappointed that we didn't make the most of those opportunities to get ahead 20-17 and continue to put pressure on.
"A lot of it was our own doing. We had opportunities, we just weren't clinical.
“It's been the story of our season for large parts. To come away having coughed up a losing bonus point is pretty tough to take."
Sale Sharks: Haley, Addison, James, Tuitupou (Flynn 52), Edwards, Cipriani, Stringer, Lewis-Roberts (Brady 52), Taylor, Cobilas (Mujati 56), Evans, Ostrikov (Seymour 59), Neild (Mills 59), Ioane, Easter
Not used: Briggs, Macleod, Ford
Bath Rugby: Priestland (Eastmond 53); Rokoduguni, Joseph, Devoto, Banahan; Ford (c), Cook (Homer 71); Catt (Auterac 54), Webber (Dunn 71), Thomas (Wilson 54), Day, Attwood (Ewels 63), Garvey (Mafi 53), Mercer, Houston (Denton 63)
Tries: Cobilas, Addison, Seymour, Easter
Conversions: Cipriani 3
Penalties: Ford 4
Yellow cards: Day
Referee: Luke Pearce
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