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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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Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st September
Aviva Premiership
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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