Sale boss Steve Diamond hails hat-trick hero Denny Solomona after win over Wasps
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond praised Denny Solomona after the winger's hat-trick helped the Sharks edge closer to Aviva Premiership survival with a 34-28 victory over Wasps.
The former rugby league player scored three tries in the first half to help the hosts to a 24-9 half-time lead, and Mark Jennings added a fourth try soon after the break.
The visitors hit back to set up a tense finale, but Sale held on to move 16 points clear of basement-dwellers Bristol, and Diamond spoke glowingly about his match-winner afterwards.
"He's fantastic," Diamond said of Solomona. "The way we're trying to grow the players is to utilise the space on the field and, if you get someone like him and Josh Charnley, there is going to be acres for them to score.
"Denny makes his opportunities and takes his opportunities - that's what we knew he would bring to the party. If he keeps doing that, he will go a long way."
Although Diamond was concerned about Wasps' revival in the second period, the Sharks boss was pleased with how his side ended the contest.
He added: "What's happened over the last six weeks, where we've eked out wins and also lost narrowly, served us well today. We managed to keep control in the last five minutes."
Despite the result, Wasps extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to the losing bonus point.
Second-half tries for Josh Bassett, Ashley Johnson and Kurtley Beale looked to have put the visitors in position to snatch a comeback win. But that was little consolation for boss Dai Young, who felt his team lacked a mental edge.
"I'm sure the normal accusations will get thrown at us like complacency, thinking it was going to be easy and so on. I don't think that was the case, but it's very hard to argue that mentally we weren't where we should be," Young said.
"We made some uncharacteristic mistakes, which we haven't done all season, like giving away silly penalties, running into touch, not respecting the ball and trying to play from deep. We weren't very sensible in the way we played the game and that gave Sale a lot of belief.
"It was a far better second half, but you come to these places and you've got to be right from the word go.
"I don't want to knock what we did too much, however, because it looks like I'm playing down how well Sale played. At the end of the day, they were the better team."