Sharks still in with a sniff of European place despite away defeat
SHARKS lost out 34-19 to Exeter following a hard-fought game at a sold-out Sandy Park on Saturday.
Despite the defeat, Sale remain in contention for a valuable European Champions Cup place for next season, but they will need to beat Leicester at home in their final fixture to have any chance of securing it.
Byron McGuigan scored two tries for Sale, Andrei Ostrikov the other, with AJ MacGinty adding two conversions.
Sharks director of rugby, Steve Diamond, said: “We were beaten by a better side but the final score doesn’t reflect the game as we deserved a bonus point but it wasn’t to be.
“In the first half, their set piece was in control and we made some crucial errors but overall it was a good performance.
“After that I’m really confident of winning our crucial game against Leicester and Gloucester taking a good hiding today helped.
“We are a good team at the beginning of a journey as we are unrecognisable as the team that kicked off at the start of the season and we will be even stronger next season.”
Exeter’s tries came from Nic White, Jack Yeandle, Greg Holmes and Lachie Turner with Joe Simmonds converting three and kicking a penalty.
Gareth Steenson also added a penalty and a conversion but the Chiefs were made to work hard for their victory with the game in the balance until the last five minutes.