‘We found a way again’ – England star spares Sale Sharks’ blushes

Dylan Coetzee
Sale Sharks star George Ford clears the ball against Bath.

Sale Sharks star George Ford clears the ball against Bath.

Sale Sharks boss Alex Sanderson was pleased to see his side get over the line with a narrow 11-9 win over Bath in the Premiership on Friday.

It certainly did not go all Sale’s way during the clash as they trailed at the break 9-5 to a passionate Bath side who did well to keep ahead.

Ultimately, it was two second-half penalties, including a 37-metre winner in the 73rd minute by George Ford, that decided the game.

Tight finish

Sanderson admitted it was not their best outing but also underlined that a win is a win and that he was delighted with his team finding a way to get over the line.

“I would rather look bad and win than look good and lose,” he said.

“We found a way again, that is the third game of that nature where we have had to dig in and find a way to win through the set-piece.

“There was some George Ford magic at the end there and I am proud, very proud as always when they dig in like that and dominate the game physically – which I think they did – and territorially.

“As the night went on, we had five turnovers on the 22 so we will need to fix that and go again, there is a lot more in us.

“There is no long-term concern but as always, there is a focus on that area after tonight. I think defensively they were really good, so we leaned on our scrum and set-piece, which were very good and George was excellent as well.”

Still growing

Meanwhile, in the Bath camp, director of rugby Johann van Graan was proud of his players despite defeat and believes the team is only improving.

“I feel proud, to come here and come so close is disappointing, but I have a lot of pride in the group,” he said.

“We kept the lead for 70-odd minutes, so that is tough to take but there is a lot of take from it.

“I believe we are on a journey, we are getting better and even though we lost tonight, we stayed in the fight and competed with the team on top of the lot.

“All credit to the defence, we stayed in the fight and when the top two teams play each other, it comes down to fine margins and some of our patches were terrific and so was our defence on the goalline.

“It came down to one penalty in the end.”

READ MORE: George Ford penalty helps Sale Sharks edge Bath while Northampton win 69-point thriller