Sale centre Cameron Redpath is fully aware of the challenge the Sharks face in their European Challenge Cup semi-final against La Rochelle on Saturday.
Steve Diamond’s side were comprehensively beaten by Worcester Warriors in the Gallagher Premiership last weekend but now turn their attention to European matters as they go in search of a first trophy since 2006.
And Redpath is expecting a tough assignment against the French giants.
“Every French side is very physical up front and they have always got a big pack, as well as some flair players in the backs,” Redpath said.
“It will be a tough game but we will just have to take it step-by-step and hopefully we can get the win. It was a difficult loss against Worcester, and we will have to play better than that this week.
“Worcester probably wanted it more than we did. We played in well in patches, but the little things let us down and we have put that past us now and focused on this weekend.”
SEMI-FINAL ?? ? | Sale Sharks v @staderochelais
Not long until our Semi-Final fixture now #SharksFamily! Make sure you're supporting the boys, tune in live with @btsport – Saturday @ 5:30pm.#SharkTime @ERChallengeCup @UKFast pic.twitter.com/H7S7IRh6m0
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) April 17, 2019
Redpath is the son of former Scottish international Bryan Redpath, a man who twice won this competition with Sale, and the 19-year-old knows if he is to replicate his father’s successes then dealing with an intimidating La Rochelle support will be crucial.
“It will be a hostile atmosphere, they have got big physical players, so we need to make sure we get everything right,” Redpath outlined.
“We have played well away from home against French sides, as well as in front of some tough crowds, and you usually get some abuse from them.
“We are used to that and having some experienced players will help us. We played at St James’ Park, we didn’t win that day but we learnt a lot.”
A 20-10 victory over Connacht earnt Sale a place in the last four and another triumph on Saturday would see them reach the final, to be played in Newcastle on May 10, and Redpath is conscious of how big that would be for the club.
He said: “It would be massive to reach the final and great for the club, no matter what tournament it is in. We are pushing for it, but at the minute I think we need to just focus on this weekend.
“After Saturday we can push on for the rest of the season.”
Following this weekend’s match, Sale face Bath, Bristol and Gloucester in their remaining Gallagher Premiership fixtures.
Photo Credit: Sale Sharks