SALE Sharks defence coach Mike Forshaw believes last Friday's impressive Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Scarlets served as the perfect dress rehearsal for Saturday's return to Premiership action.

Sharks rounded off their group schedule with a 45-18 win at Parc y Scarlets, running in seven tries despite the loss of replacement scrum-half Faf de Klerk, who was sent off shortly after coming on following two yellow cards in the the space of a minute from referee Adam Jones.

A youthful, inexperienced Scarlets fought hard throughout and made life difficult for Sale but, with the focus now firmly on Saturday's trip to London Irish, Forshaw said Friday's win served as a useful barometer for the Sharks.

"No matter what competition you are in, it is all about winning matches," he told the club's website.

"It was a bit scruffy at times, but we scored seven tries and we would have taken that before the game.

"It wasn't ideal losing Faf to the second yellow card and playing a lot of the game without a nine but, to be fair, Ben Curry did a great job along with Mike Haley.

"Losing Faf meant we had to adapt and that was another positive in terms of this team's learning.

"Faf apologised straight after the game and hopefully that will be enough really. It hurt us as he came on wanting to get some more game time and then received the red card.

"I know Scarlets put out an underpowered team but they made it very difficult for us in the contact area and that can only serve us well for Saturday."