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Sale chief John Mitchell calls for more from Danny Cipriani after Worcester victory

Last Updated: 29/12/12 9:23am

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John Mitchell: Laid down gauntlet to Danny Cipriani

John Mitchell: Laid down gauntlet to Danny Cipriani

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Sale director of rugby John Mitchell challenged Danny Cipriani to maintain his standards after the relegation-threatened side claimed only their second league win of the season against Worcester.

Fly-half Cipriani marked his return with a steadily influential display and an 18-point haul in the 33-27 win, having been dropped against London Wasps.

Yet Mitchell called for consistency, saying: "He played well and defensively showed some improvement tonight, but I'd still like to see him get his shoulders on and I'm sure everyone would.

"He stiffened up defensively, which is what we've asked him to do and that is a sign of a player wanting to improve, but I don't think it's so much about him.

"It's about him playing his role within the team because ultimately it's not about any individuals.

"As you could see, that was a very good team effort and clearly, with a guy of his (Cipriani's) class, we need him to be at that level every week - not just one in three."

Sale chief executive Steve Diamond, who sat alongside Mitchell at the post-match press conference, believes the battle to avoid the drop will go right down to the wire.

He said: "We've got to try and catch London Irish over the next four or five weeks and we're in no doubt that we're in a dogfight until the last game of the season.

"We're not going to pull ourselves free until the first week of May, I don't think."

Warriors boss Richard Hill, who saw Chris Pennell and Nikki Walker sin-binned,

had no complaints about the outcome.

He said: "One point is better than nothing but Sale deserved the win.

"They were fighting for their Premiership survival and I thought they looked very sharp. But we assisted them by having to play 20 minutes of that game with 14 men.

"Sale knew they had to perform tonight and they rose to the occasion very well. They put us under a lot of pressure and deserved the victory."

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