An abysmal first half and four missed conversions from Danny Cipriani condemned Sale to a disappointing first loss of 2016, as they fell 31-23 to Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Saturday afternoon.
A try bonus point, courtesy of scores from Mike Haley (two), Tommy Taylor, and David Seymour, will be scant consolation for the Sharks who, considering the contrast in form between the two sides coming into the game, effectively blew an opportunity to leap into the Premiership's top-six at the expense of a Warriors team who hadn't won in 13 games.
Sale now face a huge clash against reigning champions Saracens back at the AJ Bell this Saturday as the Sharks look to regain some momentum ahead of a tough run-in of fixtures.
On a more positive note, Saracens will be sans Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton, and Alex Goode for their visit to Manchester, kick-off 1pm.
Lewis Hughes doesn't know whether Saturday's performance was worse than Newcastle at home but it sure is close. Follow The Shark Tank on Twitter for more news, analysis, and opinions on all things Sale Sharks.