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Sale stars drink in their achievement after shock Premiership win at Leicester

Published 06/02/2016

Sale were preparing to enjoy their win at Leicester
Sale were preparing to enjoy their win at Leicester

Sale boss Steve Diamond promised his players a celebratory drink after they ended Leicester's 100 per cent home record in the Aviva Premiership.

Sale, who started the game in eighth place, won a dour match 10-3 thanks to a 62nd-minute try by captain and number eight Josh Beaumont.

It was their first win at Welford Road since February 2008 and only their second since 2003, but they fully deserved it against a Leicester side who were missing several internationals and lost two players on the day of the game.

Director of rugby Diamond said: "I'm sure we will have a stop-off on the way home.

"The only chance you have of winning here is when they are depleted by injuries and international call-ups. It was a tough fight but we just managed to get that score from a line-out and drive and we are delighted with the win.

"In the first half we had a lot of possession and territory. The second half was more even but we managed to pull the trigger at the right time. It was always going to be decided by one score.

"We are a good side. We know we have a good record at home but if you are going to challenge for the top four you have to beat sides away and we did that today."

Diamond refused to criticise former England fly-half Danny Cipriani, who missed five penalties, including four in the first half which could have given Sale a decent half-time lead instead of a 3-3 scoreline.

"Both kickers missed kicks," said Diamond. "The wind was swirling all over the place so we had to stay patient. I thought Danny controlled the game well and credit to him, he didn't get despondent with missing those kicks."

Cipriani kicked one penalty and converted the try, while fly-half Freddie Burns kicked one penalty from three on a day when Leicester were out of sorts for several reasons.

Already without England pair Dan Cole and Ben Youngs, they lost lock Ed Slater, who cut his hand preparing breakfast, and hooker Tom Youngs, who suffered a back spasm during the warm-up.

They were also without Argentina prop Marcos Ayerza (concussion) and winger Telusa Veainu (sore ribs).

Leicester started the day as one of three sides with 100 per cent home records - the others being Saracens and Exeter - but lost it to a side they had beaten in the previous 12 encounters.

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "It was a tough game. Sale played well in tough conditions and deserved it.

"Physically they just about edged it and it turned when they brought the two props on. They were probably stronger than us there in that regard.

"They were fully loaded and we weren't but it is what it is. Cipriani missed 12 or 15 points in the first half so we were fortunate to be in touch at half-time.

"We are disappointed but we are still in third place. We will take a point and move on."

Cockerill said Ayerza, Tom Youngs and Slater would be back for the trip to Newcastle next Friday and England centre Manu Tuilagi, who is out with a hamstring injury, should be back a week later for the game against Harlequins.

On Slater, Cockerill joked: " He cut his hand preparing breakfast so he's going to have to go on a healthy and safety class on Monday."

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