Sale boss Steve Diamond pleased with the Sharks' resilience after victory
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond praised his team's resilience after a traumatic week ended in them overcoming the Scarlets at the AJ Bell Stadium.
AJ MacGinty's late penalty ended the Sharks' run of 10 consecutive defeats as they overcame the Welsh region 25-23 in Champions Cup Pool Three.
Sale started the match outstandingly and opened up a 16-0 advantage after 28 minutes through Paolo Odogwu and Will Addison's tries, while MacGinty kicked two penalties.
The Welsh region were slack in that opening half hour but improved late on in the first period and reduced the deficit via Dan Jones' three-pointer and DTH van der Merwe's converted touchdown.
Two MacGinty penalties to Jones' one gave the Sharks a 22-13 advantage going into the final quarter-final but a penalty try for the PRO12 side set up an exciting finale.
Jones did take the Scarlets ahead but MacGinty sealed the win late on from the tee.
The win came two days after Sale wing Tom Arscott was sacked after allegedly leaking information to Aviva Premiership rivals Bristol.
Diamond was pleased with the response of the squad following the win.
He said: "Coming off the losses we've had, to dig as deep as we did to win it, it was refreshing to say the least.
"The beauty of the week, however traumatic it looks from the outside, when your senior players approach you and they tell you what's happened, it's my job to act on that.
"They were galvanised, they came to see me as a unit, I made the decision after consulting all information given and that's where it goes.
"We would have liked to have done it in-house but you can't, you have to inform the governing bodies and they make it public. It's behind us, it was a stupid thing to do by the individual but people do silly things."
After their victory over the Scarlets, Sale ended a run of 16 consecutive defeats in the Champions Cup.
They were inspired by Addison, who received the man of the match honours, and Diamond has backed the centre for international recognition.
"I think he will play for England sooner or later," he said. "He's a brilliant utility player: full-back, wing or centre and his leadership qualities are second-to-none.
"As Eddie's (Jones) said, leaders are few and far between in England at the moment and also in our team. He's stepped up over the last couple of weeks and conducted himself as a real leader.
"He's our best player at the moment. You've seen the class he's showed on three or four occasions with his turn and speed and vision, so we're glad to have him contracted."
Meanwhile, Scarlets' boss Wayne Pivac admitted that his side deserved to lose having struggled for intensity after seeing their qualification hopes quashed in their draw with Saracens last weekend.
"It was always going to be testing following the emotion of last week's game," Pivac said. "That was always going to be a test for us and we talked about that.
"We certainly came here looking for a result and a win, but a 16-0 head-start was probably a little bit too much.
"The performance of today was not the Scarlets of the last six matches."