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Sale

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

London Irish


  • Penalty goals: Humphreys (3),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 2nd Nov 2012
  • KO 20:00
  • Ground: Salford City Stadium
  • Att: 5,723

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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Aviva Premiership
Friday 13th February
Aviva Premiership
19:45Leicester vs Gloucester
19:45Northampton vs London Irish
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16:30Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
13:00Saracens vs Bath
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
Friday 20th February
19:45Newcastle vs Wasps
Saturday 21st February
14:00Sale vs Saracens
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
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Sunday 22nd February
14:00London Irish vs Leicester
Friday 27th February
19:45Leicester vs Sale
19:45Northampton vs Harlequins
Saturday 28th February
14:30London Welsh vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Newcastle
15:15Exeter vs Bath
Sunday 1st March
14:00Wasps vs Gloucester
Friday 6th March
19:45Bath vs Sale
Saturday 7th March
15:00Exeter vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs London Irish
15:15Gloucester vs Northampton
Sunday 8th March
14:00Wasps vs Saracens
15:00Newcastle vs Leicester
Friday 27th March
19:45Northampton vs Wasps

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Phil Edwards

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