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Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

Preview: Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

A top-six finish remains mathematically possible for Bath Rugby and Davey Wilson is confident his side have the class to see of Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.

The Sharks solitary defeat at AJ Bell Stadium in Premiership Rugby since the turn of the New Year 2015 was 23-25 to Harlequins on 25th April 2015.

Bath – runners up last year – have struggled to replicate their blisterming form of the 2014/15 campaign and currently sit ninth in the standings.

But with a double header against Sale to come they can close the gap to their northern rivals and Wilson is confident the Sharks can be caught.

“I think top seven, top six is mathematically possible but it’s going to be a tough slog to get that,” he said.  

“It’s about putting some things in place for next season in my opinion and just giving the boys some confidence going into next year.

“We’re looking forward to trying to play some good attacking rugby, with probably a little bit less pressure on us.

“We do still need to perform well but we’re just looking at it from a complete performance point of view and trying to put some good rugby together.

“Sale are a quality side, they’re quite physical. Like any side, you have to try and target them at the set piece. At the set-piece and line out, I think we’ve got a few edges there where we can target them.

“They are a physical side around the pitch so we have to make sure we secure our own ball, our own breakdown.

“Other than that, we just need to play when it’s right to play but when we do play, play smart and quick. We’ve got some players in the backs who can really do a job on them.”

Sale Sharks have won their last two fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby since tripping up at Wasps in round 17.

Bath have won their last two encounters with Sale but have not achieved an Aviva Premiership Rugby season's double over then since season 2010/11.

And hooker Neil Briggs admits this Bath side – while not the runners up of last year – are still going to take some stopping.

“Well they’ve still got all the players they had last year when they made the final, so it’s going to be tough,” he said.

“It’s only a matter of time before that clicks again for them. Obviously they’ve had a bit of tough time recently but that’s for them to worry about.

“For us we just need to do what we do and it’s a big two weeks. We need to get as much out of this weekend and the trip down there as we can.

“I don’t want to say it’s defining and all that sort of stuff but it’s a big game, we need to do a job this week and then do the same again next week. That’s how it is for the next four games then see where you’re at.”

AJ Bell Stadium, 2.30pm

Referee: Luke Pearce (50th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey & Ross Campbell. TMO: David Sainsbury.

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