Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Diamond demands more from Sale

Steve Diamond, Sale Sharks director of rugby

Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted his side did not play to their full potential despite their 24-19 triumph over Gloucester.

Two tries each from Rob Miller and Dan Braid sealed the result and a bonus point as they moved to within two points of the Aviva Premiership play-off places.

That might change when the teams around them play on Saturday and Sunday, but Diamond is pleased with their efforts so far this season, even if Sale's boss was frustrated with elements of their performance against the Cherry and Whites.

He said: "It's ironic that this time last season we were at the bottom of the league and 12-13 points away from the next team, London Welsh.

"We're in a different position now and the team has a lot of belief, even though the team didn't play as well as they could have done in certain parts tonight, but we got the result."

Although Sale are sitting in the top half of the league, this season's star performers James Gaskell, Miller and Dwayne Peel have all decided to leave for pastures new at the end of the season.

But, despite the core of the team departing, Diamond is adamant that they are in good shape on the field.

"They're all with us until the end of the season and Rob's first touch of the ball was an error, but he repaid us by scoring those two tries," he added.

"They're committed to the cause, the three or four that are leaving, but they're being replaced as we speak and we'll keep the majority of the team together."

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies was left disappointed by his side's efforts as the West Country outfit succumbed to yet another defeat.

The Cherry and Whites had garnered some much needed momentum over the last four weeks in the cup competitions, but Davies was critical of their display against Sale.

"I'm very disappointed because we didn't play anywhere near our potential," he said. "The period five minutes before and five minutes after half-time was madness, in terms of our accuracy and our discipline.

"It's just basic things. We lost a couple of line-outs, which we should have won, and we failed to take the kick-off for the second half. It was exceptionally poor.

"The ridiculous thing is that the second yellow card was a replay of the first which you can't defend."

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