Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Diamond jubilant after Sharks success

Steve Diamond's Sale Sharks are10th in the Aviva Premiership following the Gloucester win
Steve Diamond's Sale Sharks are10th in the Aviva Premiership following the Gloucester win

Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond believes his side's 32-9 victory over Gloucester at the Salford City Stadium has effectively secured their Aviva Premiership survival.

The Manchester outfit scored five tries in an outstanding performance which took them above London Irish into 10th position in the league. Dwayne Peel touched down twice while Johnny Leota, Cameron Shepherd and Mark Cueto also went over to secure an impressive win.

With a 13-point advantage over London Welsh, Diamond believes his players can potentially start to relax and think about next season, and he said: ""I think keeping the club in the Premiership is a great achievement and the players take a lot of the credit. A lot of things will be reviewed at the end of the season but the ground's becoming a home now."

He added: "Considering that I don't think they've (Welsh) won a game since October, it's down to them to win games. I think the form we've shown since Boxing Day beared fruit tonight. The defence was outstanding whereas it was non-existent against London Irish.

"We moved to a new stadium, we had new coaching staff and we probably weren't as stable behind the scenes as we should have been.

"We got pretty much nothing from seven or eight games, apart from one bonus point, so we've come from a point where everything had to be put together, we had to really fight and get the players to care."

Meanwhile, Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies admits they face an uphill struggle to qualify for the play-offs. Freddie Burns' three penalties were all they had to show for their efforts as they fell below their usual standards.

The result leaves the Cherry and Whites in fifth position but their main rivals for the final place in the top four, Northampton Saints, have a chance to go clear with a victory over London Welsh on Sunday.

Davies believes this defeat has taken it out of their hands, and he said: "We're relying on other results around us but we just have to wait and see. More than anything we need to finish strongly. We let ourselves down today and I apologise for that, but we've got to bounce back from this.

"We've been knocked down today as a group, but that happens in life, so the important thing is that we get up as we've got two games ahead of us."

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