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Dingwall: Saints must front up against Sale

Fraser Dingwall believes Northampton Saints will need to front up for a massive challenge up at Sale Sharks this weekend, after a sobering Derby Day on Saturday.

The men in Black, Green and Gold were beaten by Leicester Tigers at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, but picked up a try bonus point in the defeat to stay fourth in the Gallagher Premiership standings.

There is no time for Northampton to sit and sulk with another crucial league clash in store this weekend at the AJ Bell Stadium, against a Sale side who have won two of their three home matches so far this term.

But Dingwall insists the squad are focussed on channelling their irritation from the weekend just gone into a significantly improved performance in Manchester.

“The real frustration comes from the fact that everything is built up towards the Derby weekend, and we started the game as poorly as we did,” he said.

“That’s the main reflection from the game; we weren’t at the races for the first 35 minutes, and to be honest we fed their gameplan in terms of the kicking strategy.

“In a Derby match, which is a game built on emotion, to not come out and fire a few shots in the first half is extremely disappointing, but I don’t think there’s as big a gulf between the two sides as the scoreline suggested at all – some of our mistakes and the game opening up at the end flattered them slightly.

“We did show that when we put our game out there on the pitch, as we did at the start of the second half, we are every bit as good as [Leicester] are.”

Fraser Dingwall

“That’s what it has to look like for us for long periods; we need to all be pulling in the same direction for 80 minutes rather than in short bursts.

“The boys are going to have to front up to this result, that’s the reality for this week. We can only look to respond, and we take on Sale this weekend – who are a similar side to Leicester in the sense that they are going to by physical.

“We’ll need to improve up front to win that game, and make the defeat to Tigers a turning point where we excel from here.

“There are lessons to learn quickly; it starts from winning collisions and then getting our launch and tempo right. Whenever we do that, teams struggle to live with us, so that’s really important.”

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