Sale Sharks player ratings: ‘Dangerous’ back can expect Steve Borthwick call as Tom Curry shines on return despite defeat

Colin Newboult
Joe Carpenter in action for Sale Sharks against Bath in the Premiership semi-final 2024.

Joe Carpenter in action for Sale Sharks against Bath in the Premiership semi-final 2024.

Following a 31-23 defeat to Bath in the Premiership semi-final at the Rec on Saturday, here are the player ratings for Sale Sharks.

15 Joe Carpenter: For the first 60 minutes he was probably the best player on the field. Carpenter caught pretty much every high ball and was so dangerous on the counter. Surely Steve Borthwick will be calling ahead of England’s mid-year games. 9

14 Tom Roebuck: A continual threat on that right wing where he enjoyed a good battle with Will Muir. Didn’t quite get the aerial dominance he usually does, but Roebuck still impressed here. 7

13 Sam James: There were some nice moments from the departing centre, but he probably didn’t get enough chances to link up with Rob du Preez and George Ford. 6

12 Rob du Preez: Floated some excellent passes, which created opportunities out wide for the Sharks. A good performance to finish off a fine season. 7

A menace in attack

11 Tom O’Flaherty: Slippery. Evaded a number of tackles through his footwork and deceptive strength, deservedly being rewarded with a try. 8

10 George Ford: Showed his quality in the middle 40 minutes, but just couldn’t quite wrestle control of the game at the end as Bath’s half-backs dominated. 7

9 Gus Warr: The combative scrum-half did some good things but he was ultimately outplayed by Ben Spencer, who had the greater length and accuracy on his box-kicks. 6

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

8 Jean Luc du Preez: Sale’s biggest carrier simply couldn’t get his hands on the ball enough. Always barrels through defenders in contact, but he was well marshalled by Bath. 6

7 Sam Dugdale: A player who has ended this season in excellent form but he couldn’t quite impose himself enough on the match here, despite making himself a nuisance at the breakdown. 6

Captain’s performance

6 Ben Curry (c): Superb yet again as the skipper made some huge hits, messed up Bath’s breakdown ball on occasion and carried hard. 8

5 Ernst van Rhyn: Did a fine job standing in for Hyron Andrews after the lock’s late withdrawal, but Sale would have liked to have been able to keep him back for his second-half impact. 7

4 Cobus Wiese: The Sharks will certainly miss Wiese’s physicality. The South African, who is heading to the Bulls, was brutal on both sides of the ball. 8

3 James Harper: Held up reasonably well considering the pressure he was put under, but Beno Obano certainly had the better at the scrum. 5

2 Tommy Taylor: Scored a try and there was also a nice touch which led to O’Flaherty’s effort. Lineout ran smoothly too but scrum was an issue. 6

1 Bevan Rodd: Won one scrum penalty but also conceded a couple. Was busy in the loose as ever, but not the game-changer he can be. 6

Replacements: Tom Curry looked like he had never been away and is ready to go if Borthwick wants to take him to New Zealand. Other than that, it was disappointing from the Sharks replacements. Curry deserves an 8 but his team-mates didn’t make the same impact. 5

READ MORE: Classy Ben Spencer and Finn Russell take Bath into Premiership final after thrilling victory over Sale Sharks