The ‘really brutal’ conversations that turned Sale’s season around

Ben Curry has revealed some of the “really brutal” conversations between players that led to the club's remarkable progress to the Premier League play-offs.

The Sharks face a trip to Bath in the semi-finals after recording an impressive win over Saracens to ensure they end the regular season on an impressive run of five straight wins.

Sale looked out of sorts as they lost six games on the bounce, but it brought some harsh truths to light among the team playing.

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Carey admits some meetings created an “awkward” atmosphere at camp but they have since come out the other side.

He told the PA news agency: “That was after Bath (a 42-24 loss in March). We took it to another level when we had meetings with the players and they were really brutal. The players were calling each other out and I think it's always a bit awkward at first, but it's not what we expect.


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“It was awkward at first, we weren't all the best of friends at first. But it comes from a good place, we set our standards at the beginning of the year.

“But then slowly, after six losses, you feel like, ‘Our standards have gone down and it’s hard to say where that happened.’ It was awkward in the locker rooms for a while, but the results helped.”

Selling was in disarray going into the Six Nations break having lost five in the round before a 42-24 defeat to Bath prompted crunch talks.

A 41-5 thrashing of Exeter the following weekend appeared to mark a change in the Sale camp and results doubled as they clinched an unexpected play-off place.

Carey added: “The Six Nations break came at a good time for us.

“You get the third loss and it's in the back of your mind and when you go through the four, five and six it's really bad. It shows how powerful the mind is in terms of sport as it can snowball either way.

“There was a proper feeling that the players were taking responsibility for the game of rugby and we certainly took ourselves to another level in terms of our standards. I'm very proud of the players who did that.”

Curry has played his part with two tries in his last four matches, and the England international is proud of his performances this season, even though it has not been the smoothest year.

He said: “I've really enjoyed my rugby a lot this year. I came into the season with a hamstring tear, came back from that and was very proud to be part of the Six Nations squad.

“It didn't go well, I got injured, I pulled out and then we lost six games in a row – it was an unbelievable season with a lot of negatives looking back.

“Being in this position, it's been a season that has tested my resilience but I'm very proud of myself. It hasn't been perfect and they're probably the people you learn the most about yourself from.


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