Home team Away Team

Bath

  • Batty,
    Penalty goals: Ford (2),
11 - 12

Sale Sharks


  • Penalty goals: Cipriani (4),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 28th Mar 2014
  • KO 19:45
  • Ground: The Recreation Ground
  • Att: 12,000

Aviva Premiership: Steve Diamond backs players after scrum controversy at Bath

Last updated: 29th March 2014  

mike ford bath

Mike Ford: Frustrated a penalty try wasn't awarded to his side

Steve Diamond Sale

Steve Diamond: Proud of players

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond sidestepped Bath's claims for a penalty try after his side conceded six penalties in the same sequence of 10 scrums - and came away with a precious 12-11 victory at the Recreation Ground.

Sale's match-winner was fly-half Danny Cipriani, who scored four penalties from four attempts to outshine Bath's George Ford, with England's newest cap missing three of his five place-kicks including the crucial conversion of Ross Batty's 75th minute try.

"If you've got that much ball in that situation the onus is on the attacking side to do something with it," said Diamond.

"All we can do is defend as best we can. I think Henry (Thomas) was unlucky to get a yellow card - it was just a slip. I don't think the scrums went back. On another day with another referee, you never know - but it didn't happen, did it?"

Cipriani had been ill all week and missed training but insisted on playing, according to Diamond, whose side overcame other troubles even before kick-off.

"We had a 10-hour journey down yesterday on the M6 and then we had our two senior players - Mark Cueto and Dan Braid - cry off in the team run, so we had our backs against the wall," Diamond said.

"As we've proved time and time again, we fought like dogs and got the result."

For all the controversy of the second-half scrums, Sale were in control for much of the match.

Diamond added: "Danny Cipriani and Dwayne Peel are good players. Our defence has been good all year. We managed to control their midfield, who run everything, but they ran into a white wall.

"We managed to get the spoils from either turnovers or penalties and edged our way in front."

Ford frustrated

Bath head coach Mike Ford cut a frustrated figure after the match.

He said: "We are hurting inside. I am frustrated beyond belief. But look, we've got to move on and prepare to meet Brive next week.

"The scrum-fest in the corner, I don't know how many minutes that took out of the game. Fifteen? With seven penalties on the run, the referee has just got to change behaviours. He sent one guy to the bin but I don't know how he didn't go under the sticks.

"He said he couldn't give a penalty try unless they were going backwards but how can the scrum go backwards if they keep collapsing it?"

Ford did not overlook his own side's shortcomings, however, adding: "Having said all that, for us to move forward, we've got to be able to deal with those sort of tactics. If Saracens were playing tonight, you'd think they'd have dealt with it better than we did.

"At half-time I said we just had to lift the tempo a bit, get some speed into our game and work a little harder. In the first half there was a lot of space that we didn't exploit.

"I think if we could have got one point in front on the scoreboard, then it might have forced them to play a bit. They had to just defend a lead. We missed the conversion and a couple of drop goals at the end.

"But there are different pressures on this team now. People are expecting us to beat Sale at home and stay there as a top three contender. We have to deal with that."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 28th December
Aviva Premiership
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps
Saturday 21st February
14:00Sale vs Saracens
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
15:00London Irish vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Northampton
15:00Gloucester vs London Welsh

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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