It was all about the performance for London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones, as the Exiles made it back-to-back Aviva Premiership victories.
First half tries from captain Jonathan Mills and Ed Jackson laid the foundations for Welsh’s 29-19 win at the Salford City Stadium – the club’s first over Sale since 1983 – with Gordon Ross adding 19 points.
The Exiles had to batten down the hatches in the second half, as the Sharks laid siege to the Welsh tryline, and Tom Brady crossed to give the home side hope.
Welsh held on, though, to follow up their win over the Exeter Chiefs, and Ross’ penalty with the last kick of the game denied Sale the consolation of a losing bonus point.
“You can coach lots of things, but you can’t coach guts, attitude and determination and that’s what this group has got,” said Jones.
“Sale are a good side, they came hard at us and I’m just really proud of the performance our players put in.
“Sale had a lot of possession in the second half and we tackled our guts out and kept them down to under 20 points. We’re very, very pleased.
“We were caught with our pants well down against Leicester and Quins but we’ve learnt and we’ve come back.
“If you asked me two weeks ago if we’d have been happy to get a losing bonus point at Sale we’d have bitten your hand off, but things grow and move on. We’re moving in the right direction so we’re very pleased.
“Today was a good day, as last week was, but you know and I know that next week could be a bad day.”
Having conceded a two try head start in each of the club’s opening three Premiership matches, it was Welsh’s turn on Friday night to burst into a 13-0 lead after ten minutes.
“We spoke long and hard in the week about our start – we’ve been gifting 14 points and playing a little bit of buffet rugby, where teams have been able to help themselves in the opening ten minutes.
“Today we started well, we looked confident and in good shape. We took 13 points in ten minutes and that was the difference at the end of the game.”
Jones also paid special tribute to the contribution of technical adviser Kingsley Jones, who on Friday night made a winning return to the club he once coached.
“Kingsley has been a great help this week in shaping the forward pack and he’s been a huge influence on London Welsh since his arrival,” added Jones.