Boyd: Sale clash was a bridge too far for Saints

Chris Boyd says facing Sale Sharks with so many players out was ultimately 'a bridge too far' for Saints.

Saturday, 6th November 2021, 7:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th November 2021, 7:38 pm
Chris Boyd

The black, green and gold lost three players who had initially been named on the teamsheet to injury, with Fraser Dingwall, Teimana Harrison and Juarno Augustus all being forced to withdraw.

That took Saints' unavailable list to a massive 23, and they couldn't find a way through a stubborn Sale side, who eventually ran out 30-6 winners at the rain-soaked AJ Bell Stadium.

Saints did have plenty of territory and possession, but they couldn't make it count, with two James Grayson penalties all they had to show for their efforts.

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And Boyd said: "It was like Pegasus - a bridge too far.

"We'd had a reasonably good week and then in the last 15 minutes at training on Thursday we lost Fraser Dingwall, Teimana Harrison and Juarno Augustus.

"All three of them turned up this morning hoping that they would get on the bus. Two (Dingwall and Harrison) didn't and one (Augustus) did, and then he didn't quite get through the warm-up.

"Without grizzling about it, we've got 10 away with international duty and 11 injuries and we ended up having to put five props on the bench because we simply didn't have anybody left.

"We're getting pretty tight on the old roster."

Saints were well in touch at half-time, heading in at 13-6 down.

But they conceded a try two minutes into the second half and the squandered a host of attacking opportunities as Sale held out and then piled on the pain.

"We chose to play downwind and we were 13-6 down at half-time so the writing was on the wall then with their ability to control the set piece and the breakdown," Boyd said.

"Although I thought we played some of our better football in the second half and there are a lot of ifs but if we'd have converted those three or four drives into some points, we might have been able to scrape a point out of it.

"The frustrating thing with all the late changes late in the week, we had guys in roles that they're not normally in.

"We got a couple of things wrong that stopped us converting that territory and possession into points so it was disappointing."