Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has pushed Danny Cipriani’s England cause by praising his fly-half after their narrow defeat to Munster.
Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond pushed Danny Cipriani’s England cause by praising his fly-half after their narrow defeat to Munster.
Ian Keatley’s drop-goal sealed a remarkable comeback for the Irish province after Sale had comfortably led earlier in the match.
Cipriani impressed in all facets of the game, defending well and impressing with his goal-kicking albeit eventually in vain.
“If there were any contentious opinions about his goal-kicking, he put them to rest today,” said Diamond.
“His ball in hand and his defence especially – he put in 12 or 13 tackles in today – showed he is playing well. If the England coaches select him, he definitely won’t let them down.”
Diamond was naturally bitterly disappointed by the outcome, but was delighted with Sale’s performance.
“It was a game of two halves. To lose by a drop goal is always disappointing but we’ve come a long way,” added Diamond.
“It’s a big group that we’re in and we took a good hiding last week by Northampton, so the step-up in performance was huge.
“Cipriani was outstanding for us and Magnus Lund put in a big shift and they are naturally disappointed, but we are certainly heading in the right direction.
“We just couldn’t put them to the sword after that first-half performance. We just panicked a little bit. We probably did enough to win but the experience of Munster showed in the last 10 minutes.
“So we’re disappointed about the result in the end but really chuffed about the performance.”