Sale coach Phillipe Saint-Andre defended his decision to rest his big-hitters ahead of their European opener against ASM Clermont Auvergne.
The Guinness Premiership outfit lost their EDF Energy Cup opener after leaving the likes of Luke McAlister, Dwayne Peel and Sebsatian Chabal on the sidelines.
But Saint-Andre insists he had no regrets with his team selection as Sale prepare for Europe.
Saint-Andre said: "We are disappointed to lose because we had control of the game. I am proud of the players but it's been a bad week. We've had three games in eight days and I have to look after the safety of the players. We are playing rugby, not football or pingpong.
"We've got two big matches ahead against Clermont and Munster."
Sale will be without Oriol Ripol who broke his arm in the dying seconds of the match at Edgeley Park.
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.