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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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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 26th September
Aviva Premiership
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
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com