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'We felt we were Real Madrid going into that game, and we got put on our backsides'

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Steve Diamond (Photos by Malcolm Couzens and David Rogers / Getty Images)

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Steve Diamond says there is no danger of his Sale Sharks players getting carried away after they moved four points behind Gallagher Premiership leaders Exeter.


Sale’s fourth win in their last five league starts – a 23-17 success against Gloucester at rain-swept Kingsholm – kept them in second place and underlined strong title play-off hopes

But Sale Sharks rugby director Diamond said: “We won’t get ahead of ourselves.

“We got a good hiding two weeks ago at Saracens in similar conditions. I think we felt we were Real Madrid going into that game, and we got put on our backsides.

“We had a good chat about it, because we are a good team.

“Last week, Leicester came to us in very similar conditions and we controlled the game, and we knew if we could just control the field position tonight and possession as much as we could, we would be all right.

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“We are definitely not getting carried away. There is no altitude sickness around the place.

“I predicted before the game it was going to be six points either way, and I was right.”


Diamond confirmed that Sale are set to announce three new signings – two forwards and a back – in the next week or two as their campaign continues to gather impressive momentum.

“I thought we carried well tonight, the half-backs looked after the ball well, and I am delighted,” he added. “It is a difficult place to come.

“Everyone is keen and everyone is buzzing. You have got to play well to stay in the team, and I don’t think any other coach wants it any other way.”

Sale’s wet-weather game in miserable conditions served them well as they gained an impressive victory through tries from centre Luke James, lock Bryn Evans and wing Marland Yarde, with fly-half Rob du Preez kicking two penalties and a conversion.

Prop Fraser Balmain and centre Billy Twelvetrees touched down for Gloucester, while the latter added a penalty and two conversions.

It was Gloucester’s fourth successive league defeat, and they have not won in the competition since toppling Bath eight weeks ago.

“We always stay in the fight. We never give up and always give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann said.

“But unfortunately, there were a few symptoms from the last couple of weeks where we lost ball at crucial stages and gave away four or five penalties that got them territory.

“If you look at tonight’s penalties, there was a scrum penalty, a high-tackle penalty, an offside penalty. It’s a concern it is not on one area, so we will just keep working on it.

“Hopefully, something somewhere will turn for us. We have to stay positive and stay united as a group and keep believing.”

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