Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond was relieved his side managed to hold onto a lead this weekend as they hammered London Irish 41-7 to register their first Gallagher Premiership win of the campaign.
Diamond’s outfit conceded a 13-0 lead to lose on the opening weekend of the season to Gloucester last time out. But a week on from crumbling under pressure, Sale avoided any repeats of a second-half comeback as they ruthlessly put Irish to the sword – something Diamond took great pride in.
“We got a kick up the backside last week like we needed and I said at half-time I hope it’s not a case of deja vu because London Irish are a real spirited side,” Diamond said.
“Overall I think we played the conditions really well, the half-backs played well, Will (Cliff) kicked well, Rob (du Preez) kicked to the corners well and the scrum showed we have got a dominant set-piece and that’s what you need in the pouring rain.
“The big thing for us is we have put a lot of investment into the team and if you stick to the plan, which didn’t have to be flash today with the weather, then you can keep ticking the scoreboard over. The challenge in the Premiership to win away from home is fantastic, but if you get a bonus point that’s even better.”
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London Irish, after winning on their return to the Premiership last weekend, may have been brought back down to earth but director of rugby Declan Kidney was rushing to no conclusions following the result.
“I wouldn’t call today a wake-up call because a wake-up call would imply we didn’t know what was coming and we certainly did, we knew that they’d come at us in the way that they did, it was just that they were very clinical,” Kidney said.
“There were a few pressure points that we know we’ll be able to respond to better the next time around, but it’s just a good learning curve for us today. Give all credit to Sale, I thought they controlled the game very well and took their chances when they came their way.
“We’ve taken a game-by-game approach, and that’s what we’ll continue to do, the lads who turn up to train on Monday, they’re a pleasure to work with, and today’s just one of those days you have to take on the chin.”
– Press Association
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