FAF De Klerk believes fast starts are key for Sale Sharks in the Premiership.

Sharks found themselves on the end of a whirlwind opening by Harlequins at the Stoop in last Friday’s televised league clash as the hosts ran in three tries inside the first 25 minutes

Sale mounted a stirring second-half fightback and at one stage Steve Diamond’s side threatened to make a comeback victory as they ran in four tries to claim a try bonus point.

But South African scrum-half De Klerk believes if the Sharks can start faster, a Sale side that has posted the second highest number of points in the Premiership so far this term can prove more than a match for their rivals.

“Looking back at the game at Harlequins, I think they caught us by surprise a bit. We wanted a quick start but we didn’t get that so I think that’s a key lesson we need to learn,” De Klerk said.

“Our last 60 minutes weren't too bad. They got 21 points off the bat very quickly and that put the team under pressure but I think we came back very well although we shouldn’t have been in that position.

“We know if we get into a game we are very dangerous as a team and I think we showed that. So if we can work on that first 15 or 20 minutes we will be fine.

“Whoever you play against, you need to start well. If you can put sides under pressure in that first 20 minutes you will have them struggling so that’s what we need to focus on.

“We showed our character in the way we came back last Friday and one stage in the second half we were gunning for the win.

“As a team we want to score tries and we want to play attacking rugby so we just need to tighten up our play a bit more because when we start building up a bit of steam we are very dangerous.

"It’s easy to fix – we just need to sharpen up those first 20 minutes and then I think we can be dangerous against any team.

“If we cut out conceding soft tries we are going to be a threat whoever we play so that’s what we need to work on.”