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VIDEO: How 'Dirty Ice' added to Sale Sharks' troubles

It seems like everything that could go wrong for the Sales Sharks, essentially did go wrong during the week of their Round Three Champions Cup match against the Stormers in Cape Town.

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The Sale Sharks suffered a 24-31 defeat to Stormers on Saturday.

The Premiership side headed into the fixture with loads of injuries. South African forwards Cobus Wiese, Ernst van Rhyn and brothers Jean-Luc and Dan Du Preez were absent from the line-up.

To top things off, Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson revealed his squad also came down with a case of diarrhea during the week.

“I don’t want to lean into injuries and illness as excuses. We brought everyone we have in the squad, but we could only train with 26 people this week,” Sanderson told reporters in Cape Town.

“Out of those 26, I would say 20 came down with diarrhea and vomiting during the week. Luckily, it was after our training session on Tuesday so they spent the day off in bed.”

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Sanderson explained the illness stems from the dirty ice.

“I am 100 percent serious, it was the ice. Dirty ice,” Sanderson said.

“I am good friends with Andy Edwards, SA Rugby’s head of performance, and I was chatting with him on Wednesday night. He said that it was quite a common thing for touring teams in the summer to suffer from stomach bugs.

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“He believes that it’s in the ice.”

Despite the upset stomachs and injuries, the English side still managed to claim a much-needed losing bonus point.

The log point sees Sale keep their hope of reaching the last 16 alive with a must-win final pool round fixture against back-to-back champs La Rochelle.

“We came and battled, we got a bonus point and could’ve won the game,” Sanderson said, adding: “I would rather focus on the positives than what happened during the week.

“For them [the player] to turn themselves around and dig as deep as they did, to push a very good Stormers side, I’ve got nothing but pride for this group.”

“When you have a bit of adversity it shows the bones of the squad and today I saw the commitment, energy and enthusiasm.”

The coach revealed that his side will be boosted with the return of senior players, including Goerge Ford and Springbok Dan Du Preez, for next week’s Champions Cup match against La Rochelle.

VIDEO: How 'Dirty Ice' added to Sale Sharks' troubles

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