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Diamond praise for Sale

Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond praised his side's resilience as they withstood a late barrage to emerge with a 19-13 victory over Bath.

Man of the match Danny Cipriani kicked 14 points and Andy Forsyth touched down for the Sharks as they led by six points with a quarter of the game to go.

But when Michael Paterson was sin-binned, the West Country outfit upped the intensity and laid siege to the Sale line.

However, the hosts held them out and Diamond was delighted.

"It was a good all-round performance," he said.

"In the first half we dodged a bullet really when they didn't score that second try and I think the game could have changed there, but we managed to get away with it.

"Then we got back into the game in the first half and turned around 16-10 in front and we were confident at half-time.

"Defensively in the second half, we went down to 14 men, but the likes of (Tommy) Taylor, (Dan) Braid, (Dave) Seymour and Paterson killed them at the breakdown legally.

"We managed to not let George Ford play and that was the intent, although his brother (Sale reserve fly-half Joe) probably gave them the bonus-point (by missing a late penalty) so I will have a word with him about that. I'm not saying he missed it deliberately, but..."

Diamond also praised the contribution of Cipriani who once again proved the difference, kicking the majority of his goals and directing play well.

He added: "What Danny is showing is some consistency. He's defending, he's sensible with his game plan and he's sticking to what we say, so Danny played well."

Meanwhile, Bath head coach Mike Ford was disappointed with the performance of their forwards as they were outmuscled at the contact area.

Ford said: "We didn't play well but credit to Sale, I thought they played particularly well. The breakdown was an issue for us, they were pretty ferocious in that area and got on top.

"It's hard to go away from home, lose that breakdown and also the drive. It's two fundamental parts of the game that they were on top of.

"Credit to their enthusiasm and the way they played. It's very difficult to come away to a Premiership club and win off the back of those two fundamentals.

"This is a long journey for us, no trophies are handed out tonight but we'll take our medicine, get back on Monday and make sure we get better."


From Belfast Telegraph