Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson believes his team’s 39-0 home mauling of Ulster Rugby in Round 1 of the Heineken Champions Cup last Sunday will make Stade Toulousain take special note of the Gallagher English Premiership club this weekend.
The five-time winners of the trophy are the Sharks’ next opponents in the competition on Sunday at Stade Ernest Wallon.
“It was the complete performance”, Sanderson said. “I just thought we stuck at it really well for that full 80. There was an unrelenting composure about them.
“We’ve always been physical, but to match that up with composure, it’s what we’ve been working on in pre-season on the back of games like this in this competition.”
Sanderson now wants to see his team improve on that display against the club with the best record in the tournament.
Finishing the game off in style 😎
What a move from @SaleSharksRugby as they breeze through the Ulster defence to score from their own half, capping a 39-0 victory 🤩#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/HKesrw8wYZ
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 11, 2022
“You have to step up in this competition if you have any aspirations.” he explained. “It is a step up in terms of physical intensity. It’s about marrying that up with a calmness and a brutal accuracy.
“With decent training and a good intent, you’re able to take on the best. It’s a bit of a marker. I said coming in that we weren’t under the radar and I’m sure that result will just make Toulouse sit up.
“It will be real tough going down there as well, so it will be a different challenge again.”
Prop Bevan Rodd, Sale’s Heineken Star of the Match against Ulster, was also focused on his side’s upcoming challenges in EPCR’s leading competition.
“Obviously, we’re buzzing about it, but we’ve still got three group games to play, so won’t get too ahead of ourselves,” he said.
“They’ve [Toulouse] got some big names, it’s huge and we’re excited. It will be good to get a full French crowd as well.”