Planet Rugby

Diamond focused on Premiership

16th December 2013 10:53


SKY_MOBILE Steve Diamond Sale Aviva Premiership

Eyeing consistency: Steve Diamond

Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has willed his troops to build upon their thumping Challenge Cup victory over Oyonnax.

With focus now switching back to domestic duties and Friday's home Premiership clash with London Irish, Diamond wants the form Sale showed in the 53-14 shellacking to continue.

"The Oyonnax win was great as it's given us a big build for London Irish this Friday as well as lifting us top of our Challenge Cup group," Diamond told the Manchester Evening News.

"We can put the Challenge Cup to bed now until January. We've got three big games coming up in the league starting with Irish and in terms of the Challenge Cup, we've got to beat Worcester here and then go to Biarritz for what could be a knock-out game in January.

"Before any of that though we need to have good win against Irish this Friday and if we do then it will have been a good first half of the season.

"There were a lot of impressive individual performances on Friday but as long as the pack delivers then we stand a chance of winning a lot of games.

"Somebody will be upset on Friday in terms of selection but everybody is aware that its a collective element and we'll pick the side that we feel is appropriate to beat London Irish."

The director of rugby was also pleased his side had bounced back from defeat to the Top 14 outfit to record such a comprehensive victory next time around.

"What is encouraging is that 11 days ago we got beat by Oyonnax away and we learnt from it on Friday night," added Diamond.

"We came back, licked our wounds and put them to the sword. We've done that a couple of times already this year.

"We got beat by Saracens away and then beat them second time once we learnt what they are about.

"So the team is playing reasonably well and it's confident but it steps up again this week in the league."

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Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
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Sunday , April 6
Bath 39 - 7 BriveBath vs Brive Report
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Stade Francais 6 - 29 HarlequinsStade Francais vs Harlequins Report
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Sale Sharks 14 - 28 Northampton
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Pool 1
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1Sale Sharks623
Pool 2
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4Mogliano Rugby60
Pool 3
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2Newcastle Falcons619
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1London Wasps627
Pool 5
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1Stade Francais624
2London Irish624
3Cavalieri Prato611