After kicking his side to a first win in 11 matches last weekend, AJ MacGinty is confident that Sale Sharks can build from their run of improved performances.
The fly-half’s 76th minute penalty secured a 25-23 victory over Welsh side Scarlets at the AJ Bell Stadium, ended a run of bad results stretching back to November.
“I’ve been doing some good work with the coaches. Had I have got the two I missed, it might not have been a pressure kick, but it was definitely nice to get it,” said the American international.
“We controlled the first half but only went in at half time with a six point lead. That’s something we have to improve on.
“But it was important for us to win and the lads deserved it. It was a brilliant team performance.”
But the 26-year-old isn’t willing to settle for one good result, and is calling for his teammates to maintain their performance levels of the past couple of weeks until the end of the season.
“We targeted winning these five games (starting with Scarlets last weekend), and four of them are at home,” MacGinty explained.
“If we can put the same level of performance in over 80 minutes against Cardiff, then we’re going to come away with a win.”
The Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Cardiff Blues presents MacGinty with the chance to face another new team, after missing both PRO12 fixtures through injury during his time with Connacht.
The Cup competition gives teams a chance to rotate players, and has often seen a number of young players make the step up to first team rugby.
“The positive from last weekend in that all the players stepped up to get that win. This important thing on Friday is, with the changes being made, we don’t lose that level of performance,” said MacGinty.
“We can’t afford to take a step back just because we’ve got that win, and that’s how we see it for the rest of the season.”