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Victory is sweet for Diamond


Steve Diamond was delighted to claim a bonus point.

Steve Diamond was delighted to claim a bonus point.

Steve Diamond was delighted to claim a bonus point.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond felt the try-scoring bonus-point earned in the 26-10 win over Worcester put the "icing on a badly-cut cake".

The Sharks leapfrogged Leicester and Wasps to move into sixth place in the Aviva Premiership standings following tries from Mark Cueto, James Gaskell, Dan Braid and Tom Arscott, while fly-half Danny Cipriani kicked three conversions.

Ofa Fainga'anuku scored a consolation try for Worcester from a rolling maul, with Chris Pennell adding the conversion to add to Ignacio Mieres' early penalty.

It was not enough to earn any points for Worcester, who remained rooted to the foot of the table, nine points adrift of London Irish.

Diamond admitted he was satisfied with the result even though Sale struggled to fire during large parts of the match.

"I'm really pleased," Diamond said when asked about the bonus point.

"It puts a bit of icing on a badly-cut cake. We were frustrated with the performance for long periods of the game but you have to take those points.

"We were very disappointed the other week against Exeter, our discipline let us down. We like to win games at home and it's so difficult to win games away from home so we are pleased with the position we are in at this moment.

"The success in this league is staying in this competition. A lot of people don't realise how difficult it is.

"We take every win and celebrate it because there comes a time when you don't get many of them. Worcester are going through that at the minute and we went through that last year."

Diamond also praised the opening score by Cueto, who left the field before half-time with a groin strain. Cueto raced onto a chip to the wing by centre Will Addison, in what the Sale boss branded as "one of the tries of the season."

"It was just inspiration - a young gun kicks to the old dog and he races away untouched. A great try," Diamond added.

Worcester boss Dean Ryan, meanwhile, was left to rue another defeat, with his side already up against the odds to survive in the top flight this season.

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"I thought for 50 minutes we were pretty resilient," Ryan said.

"At half-time we talked about being pretty confident and being able to push on. We showed a lot of resilience defensively and were difficult to break down, all the things we have shown in recent weeks.

"I'm not down on the guys I thought the effort was fantastic. I don't accept that it's a flat performance. It was a competitive performance that slipped away from us at a pivotal moment."

With the future of the European club competition in the spotlight this week following meetings by the Scottish, Welsh, Irish, French and Italian unions, Diamond was also keen to throw his support behind the English Rugby Football Union.

The RFU was left out of talks by the other unions on Thursday, with the possibility of rival European club tournaments being held next season.

Diamond said: "The powers that be who run the league have the backing of all the English clubs. It's not just about the money it's about the governance and the future of rugby at that level.

"We all stick together and whatever they decide we will go with. We want it to be fair on the decision making of the competition and at the moment it isn't.

"We just sit back and do as we're told to a very large extent but whatever they decide we will go with.

"The other unions didn't even invite the RFU to the meeting so there's some serious political negotiation needs to go on there to get that back around the table and sorted out."

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