GJ van Velze says Sale played ‘the perfect game’ against Saints on Saturday.
The Sharks showed their bite as they claimed a 19-6 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
It was a win built on three first-half tries, followed by some resilient defending during a second half totally dominated by Saints.
But van Velze and Co just couldn’t force their way over the line and the South African No.8 gave credit to Sale for stopping them in their tracks.
“Sale took all their opportunities in the first half, got their points and then they defended really well in the second half,” he said.
“We had loads of possession but couldn’t convert it into points and all credit to them.
“We’re a team that hasn’t played together for eight weeks and no excuses about that but we had a lot of possession and we lacked a little detail in attack.
“Sale defended really well, they played the perfect game against us and they came away with the win.”
Flankers Dan Braid and David Seymour played a typically disruptive game at the breakdown, refusing to allow Saints to build up a head of steam.
And van Velze admits although his team knew about their threat, they could do little to stop them on this occasion.
“They’ve got two really good players at six and seven, we knew that before the game and they played really well,” he said.
“They made it really difficult for us, our ball was slow and that’s just a snowball effect when it comes to attack.”