This is a new weekly feature for the 2015/16 season that looks at Sale's previous game and attempts to form a number of opinions and ideas to takeaway from the weekend's result by using statistics rather than the standard 'eye test'. All statistics are provided by Premiershiprugby.com
Josh Beaumont was definitely Man-Of-The-Match
I love it when the statistics vindicate my immediate post-match impressions. On Friday night Josh Beaumont carried 11 times for 76 metres made, beating seven(!) defenders in the process, made two clean breaks, scored a try, and as lineout captain oversaw a set-piece that went 14-for-14. Those attacking numbers are simply phenomenal and proof that for now at least, Beaumont's optimum position remains Number 8.
And Tom Arscott was definitely Sale's most dangerous back
78 metres made on 12 carries, six defenders beaten, four clean breaks and three of Sale's impressive 14 total off-loads for the former Worcester winger against his old side. The improvements Arscott continues to make in his game are noticeable and whilst other backline players floundered on Friday, Arscott looks to have continued from right where he left off last season as one of Sale's most incisive attacking players. It would be a great shame should Sale have to move him from the wing where he has played the best rugby of his time in Manchester.
The Bosh Brothers not quite at their best
The return of the fabled hard-tackling and hard-running Sam Tuitupou/Johnny Leota centre partnership should have been enough to substantially worry Worcester last weekend, however an uncharacteristically ineffective display by the two Pacific Islanders alleviated much of the danger and pressure Worcester would have been expecting on their visit to the AJ Bell stadium.
Tuitupou and Leota averaged a paltry 2 and 1.912 metres per carry respectively and struggled to generate any forward momentum from the Sharks' midfield, which in turn allowed the Worcester defence to key in on Sale's outside backs and stymie many of Sale's attempts to put the ball through their backs' hands. That said the pair combined for only a single missed tackle on seven attempts to keep Worcester's attack at bay.
A surprising lack of turnovers
Through two games, Sale's renowned stratagem of employing two 'fetcher' style flankers at both the openside and blindside positions has resulted in precisely... zero turnovers.
But this surprising lack of efficiency from two of the very best breakdown operators in the Premiership does not solely fall on the feet of Dan Braid and David Seymour, instead there is reason to believe it is turning into something of a pandemic. Through 160 minutes of domestic action in the new season, nobody on the entire Sharks roster has managed to record a single, official turnover despite Sale's gameplan placing a heavy emphasis upon recovering the ball at the breakdown. It is hard to imagine this continues for much longer of course, but it is pertinent to at least acknowledge in the season's early going.
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