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Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

Dan Braid insists Sale Sharks need to beat Bath Rugby on Friday night in front of the BT Sport cameras to prove that their good start to this Aviva Premiership campaign is no fluke.

Sale had to wait until round 12 last season before they could boast two victories under their belt.

But this time around they have done it in a third of the time as they have put Gloucester Rugby and London Wasps to the sword already.

The Sharks will be looking to make it three wins from five when Bath come to the AJ Bell Stadium this Friday, Sale having lost just one of their last six home games.

And captain Braid is adamant his Sale team will be doing all they can to ensure they taste another victory in order to prove that last season’s struggles are well and truly a thing of the past.

“It is pretty crucial to beat Bath at home,” said Braid. “They're a side and they have some big boys. They play to their strengths very well and the forward pack is going to be up against it.

“We want to be at the top end of the table and we need to prove, especially at home, that we can mix it with the teams that are going to be there towards the business end of the season.

“It's early days now but you look at Bath as going to be one of the teams vying for top spot and we need to get one over them early.”

Bath will arrive in Sale in confident mood having failed to win just once this season, and that coming against unbeaten Saracens in round three.

However Gary Gold’s men have won just once on the road since round one last season, this coming at Newcastle Falcons in the opening game of this campaign.

Sale have also won three of the last four clashes between the two sides and Guy Mercer is readily preparing for another tough encounter.

“It is a huge challenge – Sale are a good team and they have already beaten a couple of good sides this year,” Mercer said.

“They have a lot of dangerous players but we have made plans for it and hopefully we will impose our plans on them.

“Those guys got a huge win first game of the year away at Gloucester. They have guys like Mark Cueto, who is looking back to his best, so they are a dangerous team.

“They are really physical, especially at home, and they back themselves to physically impose themselves on other teams. 

“They have a strong eight and two other guys in the back row who will make life difficult for us. We have got to speed the ball up for ourselves and bring guys like Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph into the game.” 

Referee: Andrew Small (90th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege & Paul Burton. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

For more news, try out Bath Rugby Match Preview Sale Sharks
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