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    Penalty goals: Macleod, Cipriani (2),
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21 - 9

London Irish

  • Penalty goals: Humphreys (3),

Steve Diamond was delighted after Sale opened their Premiership account

Last updated: 3rd November 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Steve Diamond was delighted after Sale opened their Premiership account

Rob Miller makes a break in Sale's win over London Irish

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Sale chief executive Steve Diamond praised his team after they finished an unsettled week on a high by defeating London Irish 21-9.

The game came just days after Diamond had assumed overall charge, with Bryan Redpath moved to head coach, but the players responded by claiming their first Aviva Premiership win of the campaign.

"The week's been different," Diamond said. "But the coaching team behind the scenes know what they're doing, the lads paid attention to what we've done in the week, and we managed to get a hard-fought win tonight.

"We stuck to the game plan and we played well in the first half but we had a shaky start to the second half, where we gave the ball away six or seven times through handling errors."

Lock Richie Gray pulled out before the match and may miss Scotland's opening game of the autumn internationals against New Zealand.

But the pack did well nonetheless and Diamond added: "We've managed to get our scrum sorted out to a large extent and our lineout's effective.

"Ross Harrison needs a special mention at 19 years of age as he was outstanding. There was also Tony Buckley, who's got a lot of critics but is coming on by the day. The problem we'll have is that Ireland will probably take him very soon."

Exiles coach Brian Smith pointed out that his team had lacked preparation time.

He said: "We were on a five-day turnaround, which is a little difficult, but we also had the added issue of the international players being unable to train this week.

"We were patched up but fair play to Sale, as they got hold of the game early. However, I thought we were a little unlucky with the scrum penalties in the first half."

We lost our discipline

He added: "We lost our discipline and that cost us but, fair play to them, they scored twice against us and we fell off tackles against their power centres a couple of times.

"We believed we could peg them back so we made a tactical change to play with three locks in an attempt to try and squeeze them.

"At 15-9 we looked like we were going to turn things around but, at the end of the day, we came away without even a bonus point, so we've got egg on our face now."

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
Aviva Premiership
Friday 14th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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