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Second half show at Sale delights Bristol's Mark Tainton

Head coach Mark Tainton was proud of Bristol's second half display after they came from 15-0 and then 23-10 behind to defeat Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The West Country outfit struggled up front in the opening half-hour, but hit back to reduce the arrears through Jason Woodward's penalty and Tom Varndell's try.

Although the Sharks extended their lead again, Tainton's men, despite having a shorter time to prepare for this game than the hosts, finished superbly and touched down twice via Rhodri Williams and Max Crumpton to win 24-23.

Tainton said: "I was delighted with how they played in the second half. We didn't start particularly well today and that was really our focus.

"At half-time we spoke about how we could change things around and thankfully it worked and we scored some very good tries.

"That resilience came from the game over in Pau when we were down at half-time and the players showed a lot of character in that second half."

With Worcester also winning, Bristol remain at the foot of the table but Tainton says the victories will pressurise the teams above them.

He added: "We know it's going to be a tough run-in, we're under no illusions that we're still at the bottom of the table, but we're getting results and that just puts pressure on the teams above us.

"We're away again next week (at Northampton), we've got to train hard again and be more accurate than we were against Sale."

Bristol's victory took them closer to the Sharks, who now find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle having lost their last eight matches.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "We didn't control the game well at all.

"We managed to score and play some good rugby but for some reason didn't have the confidence to back it up.

"We just let them back in the game. With the players that they've got and the pace they have on the outside, they used it really well.

"In my opinion, we should have controlled the game a little bit better in the second half - we didn't and therefore gave Bristol opportunities.

"There are a lot of good sides in the competition and Bristol are a better proposition than London Irish were last year, who went down."


From Belfast Telegraph