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Time is right to retire - Cueto

Sale wing Mark Cueto has no regrets about retiring at the end of the campaign, despite producing one of his best performances of the season in his final home game for the club.

The back-three player got on the scoresheet and was dangerous throughout as the Sharks secured a 34-28 Aviva Premiership triumph over Newcastle at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Cueto said: "It's only natural to have the odd doubt, particularly over the last few weeks when I've been asked the question so many times.

"Regardless of whether you're committed to the decision you've made, the fact that you get asked the question so many times, you do start to doubt yourself a little bit.

"There have been a few sleepless nights but, in terms of whether it's the right decision, 100 per cent it's the correct one. I'm now looking forward to staying involved with the club next year and trying to contribute off the field in a commercial capacity."

The 35-year-old is one of a few experienced players to be departing the club, but director of rugby Steve Diamond is not concerned by the quality of individuals they are losing.

"We've replaced (Marc) Jones. We will announce our replacement for Cliffy (Will Cliff). We will announce our replacement for (Nathan) Hines. We're looking around the world for a tighthead and an outside back," Diamond said.

"We've got the foundations right - four come, four go - but I think it's the right time for the two retiring lads (Cueto and Hines) and I can't compete with Bristol (where Marc Jones and Will Cliff are going) and the other clubs with money - they're doubling salaries. You have to shake their hands, say goodbye and find a kid.

"There's no salary cap at the moment by the looks of things."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was once again frustrated with their own failings as they succumbed to yet another defeat.

Sale dominated the opening period and were 24-11 in front at the break before the Falcons mustered a response.

They got themselves back into the contest through Richard Mayhew and Juan Pablo Socino tries, but could not force the win - much to annoyance of Richards.

"We have a habit of giving teams head-starts," he said. "We're giving too many easy tries away and it comes back to haunt us.

"We can score tries for fun, should have scored two or three more as our finishing wasn't as good as it could have been. As a consequence, we lost the game. It was very stop-start. There was no fluidity to the game and their tries were very easy.

"The odd thing is that you play so badly and yet you can win because we've got a great shape in our game. We're in that position to win and, probably because the boys aren't used to winning, they couldn't go out there and do it."

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