Sale Sharks KYLE TONETTI moved from Leinster last year. Standing 6ft 1ins, Kyle can play either centre or fly half and was a member of the 2007 Ireland U20 Grand Slam Winning Squad. Kyle was educated at St Gerard’s School in Bray and his club side is Blackrock. He was a member of the Leinster first team squad for two seasons prior to his move to Sale
This weeks blog is broken into two parts, with Kyle telling us of the worries of relegation form the English premiership.
“A win is what we needed” is what our coach said after the Leeds game. The game wouldn’t be described as a spectacle, but games where relegation is an issue for both teams very rarely are. Our win is hopefully going to be a big step towards safety for Sale. The entire last three weeks was all aimed towards our Friday night match. The first two weeks involved a lot of conditioning and contact, but the week leading up was fairly relaxed.
Leeds came at us with a strong set piece and in fairness to them controlled most of the possession. Charlie kept the team in the game and leading up to half time put us out in front, 9-7. The score ended up 15-12. Talking from a backs point of view, I couldn’t honestly say it was an enjoyable game. We had a small amount of the possession and playing rugby without the ball is never fun.
Playing Northampton next Saturday in Franklins Garden, they are back to a full strength squad, so a win won’t come easy. They will be coming off the back of a strong performance against Wasps. Going there as underdogs has its advantages. So we will just have to wait and see if we can cause an upset! I’m sure we will turn up with a different mindset to the Leeds game and come out of the blocks firing. Northampton have to be one of the most direct teams in the Premiership with big ball carriers in a number of different positions. If we can stop them and get some good quality ball the result will hopefully be in our favour. They’ll also have Downey at 12 who is another Irish lad playing in the premiership.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned against Northampton last week and we will need to bounce if we want to avoid any relegation worries.
Last Saturday’s game against the Saints was a weird one. We came out and played some very good rugby. We broke down their defence multiple times and scored a couple of great tries. However, going to Franklin’s Garden and winning was always going to be a big ask, especially as they were trying to cement their place in the top 4. That said, walking in at half time 5 points down after playing some exciting rugby in the first half, gave us more than a little hope. By the end though after a tough second half, playing mostly with fourteen men, we weren’t able to overcome a team who came at us hard.
Gloucester, on Friday, will be a game that the whole team will be pumped for and a win against a team that perhaps doesn’t travel overly well is exactly what we’re looking for! Many argue though that they’re the form team in the Premiership, so no doubt they’ll be coming up to Edgeley Park with confidence.
The dry weather rugby suits me and the way our team play, so hopefully Friday will be a good evening for us.
Sharks have huge plans for next season. It will be a very different set up with coaches and players changing. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out. So staying in the Premiership is a must before we can move on and forward!