At the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Sale Sharks will clash with the Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium. Sharks will have scrum half Faf De Klerk available as he returns to the squad. The starting squad will feature 11 players that faced Toulouse last Saturday.
Man-of-the match Charlie Hodgson of Saracens gets the ball when from the covers Danny Capriani covers. The Saracens had a box ticking exercise. It was the initial game of the home with win over the bonus point. Owen Farrell seemed fine and will take few weeks to come back. Early withdrawal of Brad Baritt is not so much to be concerned about. Mark McCall stated that in the first half the fundamentals of the team were good.
The opponents were blown out because the scrum was under pressure particularly. In the first half they were really hungry but the second half proved to be fatal but the second half was no match for it. They however give credit to the Sales. It was because of the five points which made the Saracens move ahead. The strain of thigh put Owen Farrell in a minor position. Barritt was also left out later due to minor injury but it was Saracens all the way not missing a single beat of the din. Sale was trailing from 10-0 deficit. The early try of Alex Goode went in vain. Saracens was guided to at all the good places by Hodgson and Goode. Sale was at the scrum during half time.
Steve Diamond pointed out that in the initial phase they were completely devastated. They could not win at the scrum because they were not with the ball. Second half was bit different. Bonus points were won by them. They were beaten and they accepted it. The result was fair. The team of Sale looked lively but they did not have the slightest intention that they would win. Things were simple from the side of Saracens. Bonus points were being heralded by them. They moved to top position.
Newcastle Falcons are in a bid to improve their performance ahead of their upcoming fixtures with a change in the composition of the team as well as the coaching staff. Former England half back Dave Walder has come in as the attacking coach replacing the outgoing coach Peter Russell. The Director of Rugby at Newcastle has promoted his former team mate as the forward coach from a part time kicking coach. A number of players have been involved in the team transfers as far as the Premiership clubs are concerned. This has been no different for the Falcons. They have signed the Italian International lock star Josh Furno from the French side Biarritz. Dave Richards, the Falcons director of rugby expressed his satisfaction at getting the all rounder in the ranks of the team while Furno has promised to put up his best performance for the team.
The signing of the three Samoa International players is going to be crucial as far as the performances of the Falcons are concerned. Alesana and Anitelea Tuilagi are the two brothers who shall be flowing in to Newcastle from NTT Shining Arcs and Newport Gwent Dragons. Both of them can play at centre and wing positions. The brothers have previous experience in the Premiership while playing for leading clubs like Leicester and Tigers. Kane Thompson was the other Samoa International joining the team from his New Zealand club about whom Richards sounded optimistic. These superstars shall add physicality and agility to the game of the Falcons that might prove crucial in the success of the team. A few days earlier Grant Shiells left the club for his new innings as a Bath player. The fans will hope that their former star will not be missed as they get to welcome their new heroes in the club.
The women’s team of England Rugby is making each and everyone proud in the World Cup. They put up a stellar performance to beat Ireland in the semi finals and seal their berth for the finals. This will be fourth time in a row that the women’s national team will be representing England in the finals. It was a display of guts and maturity as the English woman stood up strong against the spirited Irish who had taken an early 7-0 lead. Players like Rochelle Clark, Kat Merchant, Kay Wilson and Marlie Packer came to the party in order to score a number of tries and take the score up to 40-7. Earlier in the World Cup England had drawn 13-13 with Canada which resulted in the elimination of New Zealand. This was probably the biggest shock of the tournament as the defending champions crashed out after being beaten 17-14 by the Irish team. Emily Scarratt the English centre player remarked that New Zealand’s defeat provided an impetus to the dream of England Rugby in the Women’s World Cup and they had a fair chance of winning the same as far as her opinion is concerned.
The semi final matches included England and Ireland on one side whereas Canada was facing France on the other half of the draw at the same location of Stade Jean Bouin. Gay Street believed that the job was only half done as far as the English rugby team was considered and the players had not done enough justice to their potential till the group stages. However the dominating performances of the players resulted in a resounding victory for the English rugby team much to the delight of the fans. The nation is now looking forward to enhance the glory by winning the most coveted prize of the Rugby world.
Steve Diamond, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Sale Sharks is not getting carried away with the fine form of his team and is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite the club continuing to surge up the table in the Premiership.
The Sharks continued to force their way through to the top half of the table with the demolition of the Northampton Saints which had been boosted by the return of several key international players last weekend.
That stunning 19-6 win against the table toppers at that time took the Sharks to the top five, leapfrogging Harlequins FC and they are currently just seven points off fourth place and a spot in the Aviva Premiership playoffs. With five rounds of the regular season of the Aviva Premiership left to go, the Sale Sharks are being seen as favorites to make it to the playoff round for the first time in years.
However, Diamond is still not getting carried away and although he believes the win against the star studded Northampton Saints was a sign of things to come, he believes there is still a lot of work to be done.
He stated that it was definitely the biggest win of the season adding that he had seen this kind of victory coming for a long time as the team was playing well against the big teams without managing a win.
Diamond stated that the Sale Sharks are in a position to challenge for the playoff positions and their next match against Bath Rugby will show how ready they are to make the playoffs this season. And if the team does manage the playoffs, it will be an immense turnaround for a side that barely managed to stave off relegation last season.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Sale Sharks are preparing for life without James Gaskell and Henry Thomas with the two promising youngsters planning moves away from the club to the London Wasps and Bath Rugby respectively.
Although reports regarding the potential departure of the two have been doing the rounds for sometime before the turn of the year, no player could be officially approached by a suitor before the new year begins and now that 2014 is upon us, the rumors have grown stronger still with reports emerging that the two have already agreed terms with their respective suitors.
The young England forwards have a contract with the club till the end of the season after which they are free to move anywhere they want and although Steve Diamond, the Director of Rugby at the Sale Sharks wants to tie the pair down to new deals, they are almost certainly set to be lured away from the North West.
Thomas, who was handed his first cap with England during the team’s tour of Argentina last summer, is hoping to move back to his home town club Bath Rugby, which he grew up supporting as a boy.
Gaskell, on the other hand, has delayed contract talks with the club for a long time and it is being speculated that he is pushing for a move away from the club during the January window to make his dream move to the London Wasps.
The Sale Sharks have been having a much improved season this time around after barely managing to escape from the threat of relegation by the skin of their teeth last season and they will need to add serious contenders for the side if the two up and coming stars do decided that their futures lie away from the club.