Posted on March 15 2017
With the Saints facing a third away trip in four Aviva Premiership weekends during the current international window, Jim Mallinder is hopeful of a positive end to the period up in Sale.
Victory was agonisingly snatched away in the first league game of the Six Nations window, while early promise came to nothing a week later at in form Newcastle.
Last weekend’s Gardens clash with Worcester saw the men in black, green and gold go to five wins on the bounce at home though, form Mallinder is now keen to see replicated on the road.
“We’ve got three out of our four games in this period away from home, which isn’t ideal,” he said at Tuesday’s media conference. “It does make it tough and puts you under a bit more pressure.
“But, we responded well last weekend and now it’s a case for us of building on what we’ve done at home this year by picking up some points on the road.”
That said, the Sharks themselves have put together a decent run at the AJ Bell Stadium and with table topping Wasps among those recently beaten in the north-west, the Saints director of rugby isn’t expecting a let up in intensity.
“I don’t think you can ever underestimate Sale,” he added.
“They always play with spirit and they always talk about making home a real fortress, which we’ve seen in recent weeks.”
“You look at their record over the past few years and it’s not just us who don’t win often enough up there - it’s the majority of teams. They do seem to play better, they’ve got a very, very good home record.
“We’ve gone up there and been beaten, but equally we’ve also got some good memories from wins up there so we’re looking forward to it.”