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Rob Hunter had faith in Exeter's ability to sink Sale in challenging conditions


Sale's Steve Diamond felt his team lost the "arm wrestle" in the match at Exeter.

Sale's Steve Diamond felt his team lost the "arm wrestle" in the match at Exeter.

Sale's Steve Diamond felt his team lost the "arm wrestle" in the match at Exeter.

Exeter's Rob Hunter revealed he was not unduly concerned about his side's position - or the conditions - at the midway point of their Aviva Premiership match against Sale.

The Chiefs bounced back well from their 42-10 loss to Clermont Auvergne in the European Champions Cup, beating the Sharks 33-17 at Sandy Park to move to the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Scrum-half Will Crudley (2), Thomas Waldrom, James Short and Tom Johnson got the tries for the hosts - but at half-time the teams were level at 10-10.

The last few games at Sandy Park have been played in similar blowy conditions and forwards coach Hunter admitted: " It would be quite nice to play the odd game in the sun.

"We always say to guys coming to Exeter that we are on the British Riviera - but we have got quite used to playing in these conditions.

"If you are playing into the wind it is very hard work but if you are in touch in or around half-time then you have a chance. It is really difficult for both sides to play into that because the throwing and the kicking just goes out the window."

Exeter have only lost once at Sandy Park in 2015 - Gloucester beat them 26-25 in January - and on Sandy Park being regarded as a fortress, Hunter continued: "That label is very nice for our supporters because when they come here we want to ensure that they see their side play well and win. We have a good record here because of what we do on the pitch.

"We have a bit to work on after this game especially as we travel to Northampton on New Year's Day - and they lost today, so they will be keen to put on a show for their supporters."

Will Addison and Josh Beaumont crossed the whitewash for Sale, who have only won two of their seven Premiership games this season. Danny Cipriani converted both and added a penalty.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "We were in it for 60 minutes but then a bit inexperience and lack of composure let us down. We were probably worthy of a bonus point but those conditions [we played in] were hard.

"We are just missing a little bit of skills at the highest level. Overall, I'm reasonably pleased but we just lost that arm wrestle."