Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson admits this side’s 35-25 loss in the Premiership final last Saturday was “crushing” but believes his underdogs will be back at Twickenham in the near future.

Saracens defied a spirited Sale, mini injury crisis and climate activists to become champions for a sixth time.

Two Just Stop Oil protestors brought a halt to the game in the first half when they ran on to the pitch to throw orange paint powder before being led away by stewards amid jeers from the crowd.

A penalty try and scores from Max Malins, Elliot Daly and Ivan van Zyl helped the London side to victory in blazing sunshine, aided by 13 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Owen Farrell.

Sale stayed in the fight and pounced in a dominant third quarter to briefly lead thanks to tries from Tom Roebuck and Bevan Rodd before ultimately falling short.

Hooker Akker van der Merwe claimed the Sharks’ opening score during a first half in which Saracens lost Jamie George to a possible concussion and wing Sean Maitland to injury, having already seen prop Mako Vunipola withdrawn from the bench ahead of kick off.

“If I was to put it (the defeat) on anything, it’s difficult because there are a million moments that make a difference,” Sanderson said.

“I’ve yet to go and pull them (the players) in and tell them to get used to this place. Just in the few conversations I’ve had, there’s a feeling that we’ll be here again.

“The odd fairytale does happen but rarely from my experience. You’ve just got to be better at handling moments like the ones that occurred today and that takes experience.

“That’s what we’ll build on. We’ll just get better, we’re a young side for the most part.

“I’m sure after the crushing feeling I have right now of missed opportunity, the underlying emotion will be one of pride and excitement for what we can build on.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “When the game was in the balance and it was 25-23 (to Sale) and we lacked a bit of energy, our senior players grasped the nettle really and saw us through very well in the last 15 or 20 minutes.”