How Sharks demolished Ackermann's Gloucester

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:06
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REACTION: Josh Strauss says Sale Sharks' strength of character was the key to last Friday's record-equalling 57-10 thrashing of Gloucester at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Steve Diamond's men produced one of the performances of the season as they ran in eight tries to thrash the Cherry and Whites and rise up to seventh in the Premiership table.

It was the perfect response following a frustrating loss at Saracens the previous weekend.

And Strauss says that having set such high standards in the manner of how they demolished Gloucester, Sale are determined not to rest on their laurels as they prepare for Friday's trip to Harlequins.

"The sign of a good team is how you react to a setback. Last week at Saracens was a tough loss and we took it hard and we almost felt like we had to show that we cared," Josh revealed.

"I think the reaction showed that the boys have got character and showed how much it means to us all.

"I was speaking to some of the Scottish press in the days leading up to the Gloucester game and I told them that things were in place here and that the right people were in place. We had been training well but it just hadn't happened yet.

"On Friday night it just clicked and now it's a case of trying to build on that and not being complacent. Our scrum went well, the lineout was excellent and I think when you get the basics right other things start taking care of themselves too.

"We stuck to our shape whereas in previous weeks maybe we had gone away from what we have practiced.

"It was one of those games where it all just came together and we are obviously very happy about it.

"Getting a win like that is just a reward for all the hard work you put in during the week. The boys were relieved in the dressing room and we were obviously all very happy at the way we had performed.

"But we also said that this Friday's match at Harlequins is a big one. I think if we can win there then we will put ourselves in a much better position in the table."

The Scotland international was at his barn-storming best against Gloucester, producing arguably his best performance yet since making the move to Sale from Glasgow Warriors in the summer.

And the number eight says he is relishing the intense challenge that he has found in the Premiership - and also looking forward to performing on the continental stage when the Sharks launch their European Challenge Cup campaign later this month.

"It's easier to perform when the team wins - you can't do anything without the help of the other boys," Josh added.

"The boys ran some great lines which opened up space for me so the credit goes to everyone in the team.

"The challenge is everything and that is why we play rugby. Gloucester was a big challenge and going to Harlequins will be a tough one and then the Challenge Cup will be just as demanding.

"There are some big teams in our European group - Lyon and Toulouse are flying in France - and its effectively like a Champions Cup group.

"Friday was a very good win and the boys were relieved. If the results don't go your way it's not like you are working less hard but getting a win like that is just a reward for all the hard work you put in and it lifts everyone.

"Now, its a case of ensuring that we are not complacent and looking to try and build on that."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 22 December 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Sat, 23 December 2017
Treviso v Zebre 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 16h10 BT Murrayfield
Connacht v Ulster 18h35 Sportsground
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MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 10 8 0 2 40
Gloucester 10 7 0 3 32
Saracens 10 6 0 4 31
Bath 10 6 0 4 30
Wasps 10 6 0 4 29
Leicester Tigers 10 6 0 4 28
Harlequins 10 5 0 5 24
Newcastle Falcons 10 5 0 5 24
Sale Sharks 10 4 0 6 23
Northampton Saints 10 4 0 6 22
Worcester Warriors 10 2 0 8 14
London Irish 10 1 0 9 8