Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Diamond demands strong finish

Steve Diamond has urged Sale to finish the season on a high

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond has urged his side to complete their battle for Aviva Premiership survival by ensuring London Welsh's five-point penalty is not a factor in the final standings.

Diamond was speaking after watching fly-half Nick Macleod kick a last-gasp penalty to earn the Sharks a 33-all draw at London Irish, with tries from Henry Thomas, Mark Cueto, Kearnan Myall and James Gaskell securing them a bonus-point.

"I am very happy," he said. "We know London Welsh are a good team and with 10 minutes to go, they were close to Bath. But we can't worry about what other people do, we will try and win every game we have left."

The three-point haul moves Sale eight clear of bottom side Welsh, who are without a league win since December, with just three rounds of fixtures remaining.

Diamond added: "We have been good at home, we have had a great result getting three points away from home here, and we will take having Gloucester and Wasps in our last two games."

Diamond also set his side the target of finishing the season with more wins than London Welsh, in order to negate any arguments over the penalty handed out to their rivals for fielding an ineligible player.

He said: "Hopefully come May 4 we will have more wins than London Welsh so the controversy that surrounds them will not have had any effect on us or the rest of the league.

"It is not just Sale Sharks it effects, that decision was about the whole integrity of the league.

"We were brought into it because we were the next side in the competition.

"But, let's be frank and honest, it is the integrity of how you run your club that has been brought into contest, it's not Sale versus London Welsh."

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