Sale Sharks coach Tony Hanks looks for squad reaction

David Seymour and Marc Jones
Sale's 19-9 defeat to Brive was their fourth loss in a row to the French side

Sale coach Tony Hanks has called for his squad to refocus following their exit from the European Challenge Cup.

The Sharks 19-9 loss to home to Brive was their third loss in four games.

"It's our job now over the next two weeks to make sure that we're working as hard as we can work," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It's going to hurt watching Brive play in a quarter-final in April, we'll admit that. But we've got to make sure we use that as motivation."

Hanks joined Sale in the summer after two spells at Wasps and is in charge of the Sharks attack, game plan and defence.

The Challenge Cup exit leaves Sale with just the Premiership and LV= Cup to focus on but, having lost their first two LV= Cup games, Sale face a difficult task to get out of Pool Two with Newcastle and Scarlets still to play.

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Hanks eyes strong Premiership finish

The Sharks lie seventh in the Premiership, one point off a Heineken Cup place, and New Zealander Hanks says qualifying for Europe's top club competition will be their focus until the end of season.

"We've got three or four games in the Premiership come February and if we've got ambitions to be in the top half of the table or a play-off spot. We need to perform and we need to get results," he added.

"We've got an opportunity over the next two weeks to really put some work in the bank in all areas of our games.

"I'm not saying we don't want to win those two LV= Cup games, we'll be obviously taking them very seriously, but the Premiership is where it's at for us.

"What we've got to be careful of is we don't over react, as that would be easy to do."

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