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Stringer reflects on difficult week

Peter Stringer spoke of his disappointment after Sale Sharks lost 15-5 to RC Toulon in the Champions Cup.

The French side took the spoils at the AJ Bell Stadium despite a spirited Sharks performance, but Stringer knows that his side could’ve left with more.

“We set ourselves standards here, to perform at home,” the Irishman explained.

“I thought the performance was good in patches, but we let them in for the score early on. We had a lot of possession and could’ve have a few more scores to really test them, so it’s very disappointing.”

When the Sharks were at full strength Toulon remained scoreless, but a sin-bin for Magnus Lund early in the game allowed the French side to capitalise.

“We always have the mentality of going out to play, and playing with conviction,” said the scrum-half.

“But I suppose you’ve got to be smart at times, and when we were down to 14 we conceded all those points. When you’re playing against a side like Toulon, who have the players they do, you can’t afford to be down numerically.”

Stringer returned from Ireland hours before the game after attending the funeral of Munster head coach and former team-mate Anthony Foley, but said it’s a decision he didn’t think twice about.

“It was a tough couple of days back in Ireland, but I came back this evening because I wanted to play and I put my hand up for selection, that wasn’t an issue for me.

“Once I was starting, my mind was fully on the game and I don’t regret it for a second. I’m glad I came back to play because this is what I do, and want to continue doing.”

Sale’s next fixture sees them travel to Ashton Gate to face a struggling Bristol side, who are yet to win since their return to the Premiership.

“Any Premiership game is going to refocus us, but I guess it could be a good opportunity to get back up the table,” said Stringer.

“They’re a side fighting for their lives and it’s not going to be easy away from home. They put in a good performance against Bath on Thursday, and we’re under no illusions that they’ll be tough opposition.

“I think we’re taking little steps in improving our performance. The Premiership is our bread and butter and we have to do well in it.”

This article was written for the Sale Sharks website, and the original post can be viewed here. Image credit to club photographer John Marfleet.

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