As I stated in the preview of Saturday's game, a repeat of last year's astounding 55-12 victory for Sale over Exeter Chiefs was always unlikely as Sale finished their 2014/15 season with a trip to Sandy Park. However it was a total reversal of fortunes on a beautiful Cornish afternoon as Sale bade farewell to Mark Cueto & co. with a disappointing 44-16 loss to end their Premiership campaign. A reckless high tackle from Johnny Leota that earned him a 10 minute reprieve in the sin-bin was to be the turning point with Sale capitulating totally in the second half as Chiefs ran in twenty-two unanswered points and five tries to give them a fully deserved win.
So that's the season. I could say more about what went wrong for Sale on Saturday but I fear I'll depress myself too much ahead of summer. Looking back, 7th as a final standings position is probably about right for a small, but determined Sale Sharks team that won exactly half and lost exactly half of their games this season. But it is hard not to look back at key results throughout the year (Leicester @ home, Irish away, Quins @ home, Wasps away) and not think what could have been. The rumour mill says that Sale should finally be announcing two new arrivals sometime next week and their arrival plus the emergence of some talented youngsters this season is a firm basis for optimism as Sale build for next season. That and the fact Will Addison will probably be healthy again. Sale's return to action comes with the start of the 2015/16 season that begins next October after a little thing called the Rugby World Cup.
Stay tuned as there is still lots to come on SharkTankRugby over the next few weeks as although the season is over for the players, it is not over for the blogosphere. My university exams take priority at the moment but keep an eye out for my take on the Premiership Team of the Season, a Sale Sharks Team of the Season, a piece on Mark Cueto's career and individual player ratings of the Sale squad over the next month or so.