Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Sharks are Diamond pleasers

Steve Diamond was delighted with Sale Sharks' comeback against Exeter

Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond praised his team's resilience after they fought back from 16-5 down to defeat Exeter Chiefs 21-16.

It moved the bottom-placed Sharks to within one point of London Irish and was the side's third victory in succession after qualifying for the LV=Cup semi-finals last week. And Diamond believes they can carry the impetus from their triumph over Exeter into the rest of the campaign.

"We're in the position through our own fault really. We've got a bit of momentum, we won those two games in the LV to give us some confidence and at half-time we got our house in order," he said. "The lads showed true spirit again, but it was always going to be a really tense game. There's a lot of hard work to do, but we can't bother about other results."

He added: "Our next game is in nine days against London Welsh and we've got to prepare well, and we can hopefully get a result there.

"For 20 minutes in the second half, we played like we played last year where we recycled the ball quickly."

It was also a special night for wing Mark Cueto who broke former team-mate Steve Hanley's Premiership try-scoring record.

Cueto touched down for the 76th time domestically and Diamond joked: "It's fantastic but it took him long enough to get it, although it finally shuts Steve Hanley up, so in reality it was a great night.

"The ironic thing is that we said all week that there was a good chance with the way James Gaskell was playing he would get man of the match, which he did, and Quates (Cueto) would score the try."

Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter admitted that the failure to take their chances eventually cost them the game. Despite dominating the first 50 minutes and leading 16-5 through Watisoni Votu's converted touchdown and three Gareth Steenson penalties, Exeter succumbed to a late Sale onslaught.

Baxter said: "I'm a big believer that in most games of rugby you get what you deserve and I think in the end we probably got what we deserved. From our perspective the game should have been dead and buried at half-time."

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