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Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond happy despite losing to Montpellier in Heineken Cup

Last updated: 12th January 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond happy despite losing to Montpellier in Heineken Cup

Steve Diamond had plenty say after his inexperienced team were outclassed

A lot of people put their hands up and showed what character we've got in the team.

Steve Diamond
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Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond remained satisfied with his team despite losing 27-6 to Montpellier in their penultimate Heineken Cup fixture.

With their quarter-final hopes sunk in December by back-to-back defeats by

Toulon, Diamond opted for several fringe players and were largely overwhelmed by their star-studded French opposition.

The Sharks pack was under pressure throughout, but there was plenty to cheer about after an encouraging debut by 20-year-old number eight Josh Beaumont, watched by father and former England skipper Bill, and teenage centre Mark Jennings.

"I thought after the first scrum of the game we were in for a really hard night but they showed a lot of character," Diamond said. "There were a lot of positives moving forward into the league. It could have been a lot worse.

"We have to look at what's important to us and the Aviva Premiership is our lifeblood and bread and butter. We've got a lot out of today. The young centre Mark Jennings and Josh Beaumont did well.

"A lot of people put their hands up and showed what character we've got in the team. A guy who takes a lot of the press generally who played well tonight was Danny Cipriani.

"If he sticks to his kicking game for us he will be great. He keeps the forwards going. We were in the game at half-time because of Danny's kicking.

"We played well in parts but overall their dominance showed and they deserved

the score."

Montpellier, flying high in the French League, made it four successive wins to keep alive their qualification hopes, much to the delight of coach Fabien Galthie.

A penalty try two minutes from the end, to add to earlier touchdowns from

Yohann Artru, man of the match Johnnie Beattie and Pierre Berard, enabled the visitors to clinch a crucial bonus point which takes them level with Toulon, who play Cardiff on Saturday.

Galthie said: "Victory and the bonus point is a good result for us. We now

need to beat Toulon, simple as that. We are going to try."

The former France scrum-half was delighted with the performance of Scotland number eight Beattie, who was at the heart of a dominant pack display.

"We are very happy for him," he added. "He is one of the best players in the

team."

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Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
14:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92

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