Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has challenged his side to bottle their formidable home form and transfer it to the road – starting with Friday night’s Premiership clash away at Harlequins.
The Sharks produced a stunning display at the AJ Bell Stadium last Friday as they ran in eight tries to thrash Gloucester 57-10. That win followed an impressive bonus point victory over London Irish in Sale’s previous home outing.
However, Sale have struggled to replicate that form on their travels but the Sharks boss believes his side are more than capable of finding a cure for their travel sickness.
“We don’t want to get too carried away – we’ve hit a bit of form at home but most people would expect us to do that,” said Diamond.
“I think we’ve got a good enough squad to challenge some teams away from home, not withstanding the fact that they’ve got one or two injuries, so we need to go down there and be competitive.
“To be pushing for the top six and challenging, you’ve got to be picking three wins up on the road over the season and win your home games.
“No doubt Harlequins will be sobered by their loss to Northampton last weekend but they are a good side. They have won at Wasps already this season and they are a fine team at home.
“Anyone who knows anything about the league knows that any side can literally knock each other about. What we’ve got to be is difficult to beat down there.
“We need a win like everybody and on current form some would say we don’t stand a chance of winning down there so let’s see how we rock up on Friday.”
By way of inspiration for transferring their excellent home form onto the road in what will be the last Premiership clash ahead of the European break, the Sale boss says his side could do worse than learn from the example of Saracens and Newcastle.
“You look to take a leaf out of other people’s books and Saracens have always been a good team to follow in the the way that they do things,” Diamond continued.
“We win games when we don’t have a lot of ball like against Gloucester, we provide a lot of lads for the junior England squads and the Under-20s and we probably have more South Africans than Sarries now but they have always been a good team to follow
“Newcastle are another good example now too. They produced a smash and grab raid away from home against us last month and they did it again against Bath and we could do with emulating a little bit of the grit which they have shown.
“On top of that, wouldn’t it be good to have two Northern teams in the top half of the league?”
The Sale director of rugby also confirmed that the arm injury which forced England international Tom Curry off the field against Gloucester was not as serious as had been first feared.
“Injury wise, we are OK. Tom Curry is out for two weeks with a strain on a ligament in his wrist but he’ll be back soon and Ben Curry is fit for Friday,” Diamond added.
Team: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 3 Alex Tarus, 4 Bryn Evans, 5 Josh Beaumont, 6 Jono Ross Captain, 7 Ben Curry, 8 Josh Strauss
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Auilka, 19 Andre Ostrikov, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Cameron Neild, 22 Will Cliff, 23 James O’Connor