Brewer hails Sharks' bite
September 3, 2010
Newcastle's Tim Swinson is tackled by Sale's Andrew Sheridan © Getty Images
Sale head coach Mike Brewer was full of praise for his side following their impressive 35-18 victory over Newcastle at Edgeley Park.
The Sharks turned in a dominant display with fly-half Nick Macleod weighing in with 22 points while there were tries for debutants Karena Wihongi and Tom Brady and a drop goal from Dwayne Peel as the Falcons were comprehensively outgunned. The visitors registered two tries of their own from flanker Brent Wilson, with fly-half Jeremy Manning booting eight points, but it could not mask their inability to deal with their hosts whenever they secured quick attacking ball.
Former New Zealand flanker Brewer, who has previously been involved with the Scotland and Ireland national set-ups, said, "I am really happy with the intensity. We played at a pace that got away from Newcastle, they couldn't stand the pace. We have been training with intensity and pace and I think that won us the game. I was really happy that the guys put on the playing field the stuff we have been doing in training.
"I am a hard taskmaster, I don't flog the players but it is important we train with intensity otherwise you don't have it when you play."
Brewer was however disappointed with his side's set-piece, with several line-outs going astray and the Sharks finding themselves under pressure at scrum-time. "Our set-piece was poor," he said. "We only had a 33% success rate at the line-out and on all but one of our scrums our scrum was fractured. You have got to be happy with 35 points against a Newcastle side that came to play but we know we have lots to work on."
But Brewer did reserve particular praise for Macleod. The former Cardiff Blues man, who has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot in his previous two seasons in the north west, filled the boots of the injured Charlie Hodgson admirably as he and Peel ran the game superbly.
"Nick is a classy player," Brewer continued. "He can play at 10, 12 or at full-back, he even had a little go at nine tonight. We have young guys in Matty James and Rob Miller who have been going okay but there are parts of their game we need to develop. Nick has the experience and poise. Some people were shocked at his selection but he showed how good he is."
Newcastle boss Alan Tait admitted his side had been poor but refused to accept that they had been beaten by a superior side. "I have asked the boys if they thought they were outmuscled or outplayed by better players and they said no.
"Our mistakes cost us, we were sloppy around the breakdown and we need to get some thing cleared up on the laws there as we seemed to get penalised a lot. There is a lot to fix but the boys are confident they can sort things out. Our ball retention was poor and made a couple of bad decisions. We needed a good blow-out and we got it."