De Klerk: We have been too slow out of the blocks

SCRUM-HALF FIRES OUT A WARN­ING TO SHARKS AFTER DE­FEAT BY HAR­LEQUINS

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

FAF de Klerk be­lieves the les­son from the first six Premier­ship games of the sea­son is that Sale need to get out of the blocks quicker.

The Sharks found them­selves on the end of a whirl­wind opening by Har­lequins at the Stoop in last Fri­day’s de­feat as the hosts ran in three tries inside the first 25 min­utes

To their credit, Sale mounted a stir­ring sec­ond-half fight­back and at one stage Steve Di­a­mond’s side threat­ened to stage a come­back vic­tory as they ran in four tries to claim a try bonus point.

But South African scrum-half De Klerk be­lieves that if Sale can start bet­ter, a Sharks side that has posted the sec­ond high­est num­ber of points in the Premier­ship so far this term can prove more than a match for their ri­vals.

“Look­ing back at the game at Har­lequins, I think they caught us by sur­prise a bit. We wanted a quick start but we didn’t get that so I think that’s a key les­son we need to learn,” De Klerk said.

“Our last 60 min­utes weren’t too bad. They got 21 points off the bat very quickly and that put the team un­der pres­sure, but I think that we came back very well. But we shouldn’t have been in that po­si­tion.

“We know that if we get into a game we are very dan­ger­ous and I think we showed that.

“So if we can work on that first 15 or 20 min­utes then we will be fine.

“Who­ever you play against, you need to start well. If you can put sides un­der pres­sure in that first 20 min­utes you will have them strug­gling so that’s what we need to fo­cus on.

“We showed our char­ac­ter in the way we came back last Fri­day and at one stage in the sec­ond half we were gun­ning for the win.

“As a team we want to score tries and we want to play at­tack­ing rugby so we just need to tighten up our play a bit more be­cause when we start build­ing up a bit of steam we are very dan­ger­ous.

“It’s easy to fix – we just need to sharpen up those first 20 min­utes and then I think we can be dan­ger­ous against any team.

“If we cut out con­ced­ing soft tries we are going to be a threat who­ever we play, so that’s what we need to work on.”

Sale Sharks’ Faf de Klerk

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