Workmanlike Sharks real Diamonds
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 12:31
Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond was full of praise for his side's workmanlike performance as they ground out a hard-fought win in miserable conditions at Kingston Park.
The victory, which takes the Sharks albeit momentarily into the top six, is only the second time they have won in the North East in the Premiership and only their second away win of the season.
Tom Brady's try and Danny Cipriani's left boot carved out a lead for the Sharks, despite a try in reply from Andy Saull, and replacement Nick MacLeod slotted a late penalty to deny their hosts a losing bonus point.
And Diamond admitted afterwards that the scoreline probably flattered his troops at the final whistle in a match played in miserable conditions.
"Kingston Park as we know is a very difficult place to come and it was a must win game for Newcastle really. It was a really hard fought game but our second half performance was very good," he said.
"We were dominant in defence and Newcastle didn't really look like scoring. It's that competitive to snatch an away win is so satisfying for us.
"We set ourselves a target over the festive period so we had two wins and a losing bonus point we're happy with how Christmas and New Year has panned out for us. Now we want to keep building on the momentum.
"We have players who are willing to give everything for the cause and that's all you can ask for.
"Newcastle probably deserved a losing bonus point and I wouldn't have minded had they got one, although I shouldn't say that.
"It was a tough game. Newcastle are a difficult side to beat here and we had to defend well. I am really pleased with tonight's work."
For Dean Richards and his Newcastle troops it was a case of what might have been after they failed to make the most of the conditions when they were in their favour and emerged with nothing from the game.
"We gave away a soft try which is getting to be a habit and a couple of silly penalties," the former Harlequins boss said.
"What really let us down was our inability to play the conditions, especially in the second half, which is also becoming a habit.
"We didn't seem to know or understand how to play the conditions and if you don't learn how to use the conditions then you are going to lose games.
"We were very hesitant at times & no one took control in midfield."
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