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Aviva Premiership: Steve Diamond looking forward to European Rugby Champions Cup

Last updated: 19th April 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

rob baxter exeter chiefs

Rob Baxter: had some harsh words for his players

Sale Shark s Director of Rugby Steve Diamond

Steve Diamond: led Sale into the Champions Cup

To be competing in the top four you have to be spending big money. We don't do that so anywhere around the top six is great for us.

Steve Diamond
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Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond was 'delighted' after his side secured a place in next season's European Rugby Champions Cup with a 55-12 victory over Exeter.

"That was obviously one of our aims from today because there was a bit of pressure on us having played well all season," said Diamond.

"But we didn't play well a couple of weeks ago against Harlequins. This is a difficult place to come so we are delighted. We played well and we reminded the players in the week that we hadn't won here before.

"We hit form today and if we do that with the players that we've got then we can score tries like we did. The top four in the Premiership is probably away from us but we've got to manage expectations from where we have come from and what we have spent.

"To be competing in the top four you have to be spending big money. We don't do that so anywhere around the top six is great for us. We didn't expect to win by that scoreline by any stretch of the imagination."

Exeter went into the game hoping to hold on to seventh place in the Premiership, and a play-off against the seventh-placed club in France for the final place in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Top tier

"I said to the guys in the dressing room afterwards that I want us to be in the top tier of the European competition," said Exeter head coach Rob Baxter.

"But to do that we have to be in seventh place to give us an opportunity. But I can't make that their motivation - they have to show that themselves.

"I was a little disappointed with this performance, which didn't really look like a highly motivated side that was going to fight tooth and nail to cement that seventh place.

"We were in before today but we weren't by the end of the day and that is purely down to us, it was all in our hands. I said some truthful, rather than harsh, words [to the players] and said that sometimes you have to look at a game that has been a humbling experience.

"In our time in the Premiership I thought that we had talked through ways of managing those situations enough times now for something like today not to happen and for us to get a grip on the game after conceding an early score.

"But today, the truth is collectively they were better than we were and we paid the price massively.

"There were some good performances from some of our players but collectively we were off enough, and in enough different areas, for it not to be a very tough contest."

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
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

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Phil Edwards

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