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Diamond calls for consistency

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has challenged his side to maintain their consistency after they thrashed London Irish 36-8 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Sharks dominated up front and scored five tries through Dave Seymour, Dan Braid, Andy Forsyth and two penalty tries.

Having had an inconsistent start to the season, with the Sharks so far failing to reproduce the form which saw them take sixth in the 2013/14 Aviva Premiership campaign, Diamond believes that their victory over the Exiles is a truer indication of the team's ability.

"That's the Sale we know and that's what we want to see week in week out," he said. "I was really pleased with the performance.

"We just needed to put in more than a 40-minute performance, we probably got a 60/70-minute performance today and I was disappointed to concede a try in the end as we looked so dominant.

"We need to get out of that rollercoaster up and down inconsistency and be consistent. We can travel next week with no pressure on us to Harlequins."

Crucial to Sale's success was the pack and, in particular, the driving maul which formed the basis for three of their tries.

With teams finding ways of defending the drive effectively, Diamond is pleased that they managed to utilise one of their best weapons effectively.

He added: "There's a method coming in where sides don't know how to defend the maul and they're standing off it. If you come up against a side like London Irish, who are attempting to do that, as long as one of them joins it the maul is in business.

"That's what we managed to do. We dragged them in and then they couldn't stop it, and we managed to get inside their brains a little bit."

Irish director of rugby Brian Smith admitted that they were physically overwhelmed by Sale as they conceded a number of penalties for indiscretions at the set-piece, which saw David Paice and Luke Narraway sin-binned.

Smith said: "I thought Sale were good, they brought a lot of intensity to the contest. We feel that we were a bit out-muscled and out-hustled.

"The back end of the first half, those 20 minutes where they nailed us at scrum-time and put the ball into the corner, they really screwed us then. With 13 players on the park they made that count and that was the contest really.

"We've got to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. We've been given a bit of a hiding and there are plenty of lessons to learn. The good thing about sport is that a week is a long time and you can turn things around."


From Belfast Telegraph