Brewer praise for sharp Sharks
Sale head coach Mike Brewer praised the pace and intensity of his side's performance after they comprehensively defeated Newcastle 35-18 on the opening night of the new Aviva Premiership season at Edgeley Park.
The Sharks turned in a dominant display to mark Brewer's first game in charge as fly-half Nick Macleod helped himself to 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.
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."
He added: "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. 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."