Diamond praises Sharks defence

Date published: November 22 2014

Sale boss Steve Diamond praised his side’s defence after they claimed a 16-12 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop on Friday.

Sale boss Steve Diamond praised his side’s defence after they claimed a 16-12 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop on Friday.

The Sharks’ fly-half Danny Cipriani kicked 11 points as his side secured their second win in a row on a memorable night in West London as they only secured their first win in six years at the Stoop.

Nick Evans scored all 12 of Harlequins’ points from the boot as the hosts looked to be heading for their second win in as many league matches.

But it wasn’t to be as Sale captain, former All Black, Dan Braid touched down to secure a hard-fought victory for the Sharks, much to the delight of Diamond.

“It’s a good away win obviously, the competition is so tight these days that you rarely win away,” said Diamond.

“We did well last week against London Irish and this result will give us some stability and consistency so we’re delighted with that.

“It was a scrappy game, the lineout didn’t function very well but we defended really well and when we got our opportunity we took it. Dan Braid scored a really good try and we’re delighted.

“We want to have 25-30 points by Christmas which will give us a shot to get into the top six, which we know is going to be very difficult.

“A lot of hard work is needed next week to get the set piece sorted and hopefully we can give Newcastle a good run for their money.”

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea admits his side did not play to their standards.

O’Shea conceded that his side were not good enough in front of their home fans at Twickenham Stoop as they were edged out in a scrappy affair.

Despite leading 12-9 with 13 minutes to go Quins couldn’t build on last weekend’s memorable victory away at Gloucester and fell to seventh in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table following their fourth defeat of the season and their first loss to Sale since 2010.

And former Irish international O’Shea has demanded that his side now go out and get a result against Bath next weekend.

“Credit to Sale but we’re massively frustrated,” he said.

“We didn’t play to the standards we wanted in order to get the win and Sale did.

“Last week we got a brilliant win against Gloucester and this week we’ve had a very frustrating loss.

“We didn’t get our first penalty in open play until the 79th minute which is pretty spectacular but that’s something you have to deal with.

“There was no lack of effort or desire or anything like that, we just didn’t get the scoreboard ticking at all and we didn’t make the dents or hold onto the ball.

“We are incredibly disappointed, we gave ourselves a really good opportunity by going away to Gloucester and doing something we hadn’t done before.

“It was a great vibe but now it’s a terrible one and we have to get a reaction against Bath next weekend.”