From The Shark Tank – Newcastle Falcons

Have a read of our weekly guest spot from the podcasting superfans over at the shark tank, the Northern Powerhouse of rugby podcasting, with a detailed, irreverent and occasionally cynical look at all things Sale Sharks.

Semi-finalists! It feels about as long since we were at the AJ Bell for a home game, as it does since we last had a home semi-final to look forward to, but both are just around the corner now and what a pair of events they’re going to be.

It was a massive game on the 5th March last time we saw the boys in Salford, and a huge win to match the occasion. Looking back that was crucial to securing not only a safe top 4 place, but also the home semi which our early season form deserved. After that there was a blip against a resurgent London Irish team the week after, and a disappointing loss in South Wales, both of which we won’t give any further airtime to because they’re far too long ago to matter…

Instead let’s talk about the comprehensive and expertly managed victories over Bristol and Gloucester. Despite the form of the opposition, it takes a pretty strong mentality to win two tough away games in the South West on consecutive weekends. Both performances started to show the gelling of George Ford into this team and kept dangerous opponents at arms length.

Today’s game is of course the ‘northern’ derby (despite the 3 hour journey and the fact that our Geordie friends are in denial about where the north is). We’ve made no secret on the pod of our fondness for Newcastle and it’s something of a relief not to need a result in this game, as it should hopefully help create that great end of season carnival atmosphere and some exciting rugby from both sides. That said, we’d still like a win to go out on a high ahead of our biggest game in 16 years in a couple of weeks time!

Yes, let’s just bask in the glory of the home semi-final, and against the auld enemy of Leicester Tigers. For those of us who’ve been through the Sale Sharks mill for long enough, its brought back memories of Jason Robinson stepping Mark van Gisbergen from 20 metres away, and Seabass dumping a certain current BT Sport pundit on his backside. We’re hopeful for equally special memories from the new generation of Sharks who have a chance to make history this season, and today’s game against Falcons is a chance to enjoy a season well played without all the stress that’s coming on the 14th May!

A final word on some retiring legends of the club also – Byron McGuigan, Will Cliff and Jono Ross have all contributed a massive amount to Sharks on and off the field and we hope today is the chance to give them a send off they deserve. All 3 have always given everything on the field for Sale and as fans you take players like that to your heart, so while we’re sorry to see them retire I think we can all appreciate that literally nothing has been left out there by any of them. We hope they enjoy retirement, but not before a trip to Twickenham…

Enjoy the game!

Alex, James and Lewis

To listen to the Shark Tank Rugby podcast, click HERE.

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