Sale can still improve – Diamond

Date published: September 20 2014

Sale boss Steve Diamond believes there is room for improvement from his side, despite their impressive win over London Welsh.

London Welsh – who conceded more than 50 points in their previous matches against Bath and Exeter – were giving a good account of themselves in their third match since their return to the top flight and were 18-8 down after 65 minutes at Sale’s at AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

But two tries from Tom Arscott – which secured him a hat-trick – and further and further five-pointers from Tom Brady and and Luke McLean secured the Sharks a 46-8 victory.

Diamond expressed his delight with the result but insisted there was more to come.

“We stressed all week that the side that comes up will generally struggle with the pace of the game and we wanted to try and keep the intensity high,” he said.

“The fresh legs made a difference – it gave us some impetus. Danny (Cipriani) is playing well and spread the ball around.

“It wasn’t a great performance by us, to be honest. We were scrappy in some areas. But credit to them, they are very dogged and they’re good at the set-piece, so we had to work hard for it.

“We’re making some elementary errors – it’s where we’ve been all year, to be honest. We’ve just got to try and eradicate them.

“We come across Saracens, Northampton and Wasps in the next few weeks and, if you make those basic mistakes, it costs you dearly.”

The Exiles’ head coach Justin Burnell said “individual errors” was the main reason for his side’s defeat, especially during the final 15 minutes when they conceded 28 points.

“You think with a few minutes to go you’re still in it,” explained Burnell.

“Just in crucial areas we made some mistakes early on and then all of a sudden it gets to a decisive moment and we have a crucial lapse in concentration.

“We fumble the ball and we lose possession and, in all fairness, they capitalise on it. It’s like anything – once they’re on the front foot, their tails are up and the floodgates opened. It was the same old story – people dropping off.

“It’s execution, it’s skill and it’s the individual errors – I think that was the biggest disappointment.

“At this level, the Aviva Premiership, you make a mistake and you will be penalised.”