Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter hailed his side's defensive display after they earned a third Premiership win in a row with a battling 21-3 victory away at Sale Sharks.
Last season’s runners-up flew out of the blocks at the AJ Bell Stadium and raced into a comfortable half-time lead after a penalty try, James Short effort and neat Will Chudley finish.
Sale loosened up after the interval and moved the ball more freely in an attempt to get back into the game but the Chiefs defended well and closed out victory.
And the result left Baxter delighted, although he was a little frustrated his side did not secure a bonus point in the second period.
“When you finish with a comfortable score line and you have not banged in that fourth try, you have got to be careful you don’t get it wrong in your own mind,” he told the Premiership's official website.
“I thought we put in a very good, very professional and hardworking performance. We don’t traditionally come here and do very well. Sale are a good side and they win a lot of games here but we came with a game plan in place and stuck to it very rigidly, and our players worked very hard within it.
“It was not easy to do what we did and that is one thing we have to remember, we had to put a lot of hard work into that performance. To concede three points away from home in any Aviva Premiership Rugby match is a big indicator of a team which is prepared to be very disciplined and work very hard.”
Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted his side were not good enough on the night, extending their run of poor form.
The Sharks have lost their last three Premiership matches, and Diamond insists they need to get back to winning ways soon.
“We are just not good enough at the minute and we have not been for two or three weeks,” he said.
“We can give our all in training and think training has gone well but we have to convey it on the pitch and we have not been able to do that. We have to have a think about what we are doing and how we are doing things and getting the basics right because we could not get out of our own half the whole night. As a squad , a team and a management team we are not clicking at the minute and we need to have a good night out tonight and tomorrow night and get back at it on Monday morning.”