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- Aviva Premiership
- 10th May 2014
- KO 15:15
- Ground: Madejski Stadium
- Att: 8,000
Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond upset with losing big lead
- Aviva final day preview
- Richards promises improvement
- McCall slams touch judge
- Davies left disappointed
- Mallinder stays grounded
- O'Shea hails super Harlequins
- Quins win to make play-offs
- Exiles end on a high
- Comfortable win for Chiefs
- Tigers edge out Sarries
- Rampant Saints record victory
- Worcester down with a win
Sale's director of rugby Steve Diamond was frustrated his side could not finish their season on a high note after squandering a 10-point against London Irish.
The Sharks had led 20-10 early in the second half, but a revival from Irish saw Sale's run of five away wins in the Aviva Premiership come to an end.
"We want to win every game and, being 10 points up with wind advantage in the second half, we should have done so," said Diamond.
"We should have kicked the points on offer and it would have been nice to finish with a win."
However, Diamond did concede that motivation for the final game, where nothing was at stake for Sale, proved a key factor in their slip-up.
"It was difficult to motivate us for this game when we have already qualified for Europe," he added.
Australian centre James O'Connor, in his last match for Irish before departing for Toulon, provided the game's spark and he drew praise from Diamond.
"He was on fire every time he touched the ball and was the difference between the two sides," said Diamond.
Danny Cipriani was an absentee for the visitors, with Diamond confirming that he had been rested.
"It was my decision to leave Danny out. It's all about game management and I wanted to give the youngsters like Joe Ford a go. I have received no approach from England to rest him." Diamond added.
Irish's director of rugby Brian Smith was happy that Cipriani was absent.
"Leaving Cips out did us a big favour as he is one of their big guns," Smith said.
"We found a way to win but our performance was ropey and scratchy. We could have made it more comfortable than it was had we kicked our goals and not missed our line kicks.
"It's disappointing to finish only 10th, we had an opportunity to kick on and challenge for Europe when we won away at Saracens and Wasps, but we failed to do so.
"However, we have a relatively strong squad which tested our resources."
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com