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Motivated Sharks Ready for the Devon Challenge

Motivated Sharks Ready for the Devon Challenge

Sale Sharks travel down to Devon on Friday ahead of the Aviva Premiership game at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday afternoon (kick off 3-30pm).

The Sharks still have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next season, and need to get a bonus point win and hope Wasps lose at London Irish.
Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter has said that the game is the biggest in Chiefs history in that they are on the verge of finishing in the top four for the first time ever. Exeter showed their statement of intent on Sunday by winning at Saracens and at the post match press conference at Allianz Park Mark McCall made an odd statement when he said, “We don’t know how motivated Sale will be for their visit to Exeter for when they went out of Europe, they lost their next game by over 50 points,”
However Steve Diamond blasted back by saying, “Mark McCall should just concentrate on motivating his own team really. It’s ridiculous – but what happens is that when people are at their most desperate they say the most desperate things.

“And he’s obviously disappointed that his own motivation isn’t good enough to get his Harlem Globetrotters team to beat a really good workmanlike team like Exeter.

“The one thing about us is that we never lack for motivation. Sometimes skill or game understanding lets us down, but never endeavour.

“Half a dozen of my players have come to me about his comments but what we’re keen on here is that we don’t make it like an end-of-term week at school.

“We may be at the end of a tough season but everyone wants to play on Saturday.

“And if we get beat by Exeter it will be because they are a better team than us – not because of any lack of motivation.”

“I think the reference was made in regards to the European Champions Cup and our 65-10 defeat at Munster in January,” Diamond added.

“But if you run with a squad like we do and you have lost five games in the group and you are out of the competition, as we were, then you give your kids an opportunity… that’s how we breed them.

“We were getting beat 13-10 at half-time and Munster put 40-odd points on us in the second half – that’s what the top sides can do to your kids.

“But Mike Haley, Sam James, Mark Jennings and all the other lads who played there will be better for it.

“We have to cut our cloth accordingly but we don’t take kindly to comments like that.

“Mark McCall seems a decent guy but I think he should just worry about his own team.”

Exeter Chiefs have an excellent record at their Sandy Park ground and have lost only once in all competitions this season there.

Sale’s record against Exeter Chiefs wasn’t impressive after the Devon based team were promoted, however Sale have won three of the last four games against them including the 55-12 win at Sandy Park in April of last year.

The game will see the two leading try scorers in the Premiership in action. Thomas Waldrom (16) plays his 100th Premiership game and Tom Arscott (12) will be hoping to add to his impressive tally of touchdowns.

Mark Cueto will finish his playing career in what will be his 304th game in a Sharks shirt and he will be hoping to finish with a try to add to the 90 previous Premiership touchdowns during his 14 year career.

Match referee is Wayne Barnes and for those not travelling the game can be see on BT Sport, kick off 3-30pm.

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