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    Penalty goals: O'Connor,
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    Conversions: Ford (2),

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond upset with losing big lead

Last updated: 10th May 2014  

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond upset with losing big lead

Steve Diamond: Unhappy with Sale losing a big lead

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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.

Motivation

"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.

Smith happy

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

Aviva Premiership Table - July 9 2014
Pos Team P Pts
10 Sale Sharks 0 0
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
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

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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