Planet Rugby

Sale's indiscipline annoying Diamond

20th November 2013 10:07

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Frustration: Steve Diamond

Sale boss Steve Diamond has called on his squad to cut down on the number of cards they are picking up this season.

The Sharks have picked up eight yellow cards in all competitions this season, including three in one match against Exeter Chiefs at the start of November that resulted in a loss.

New recruit Viliami Fahiki was the latest Shark to be sin-binned, just two minutes into his debut after coming off the bench in the LV= Cup against Harlequins.

With Worcester travelling to the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday, Diamond is keen for his team not to shoot themselves in the foot by conceding unnecessary yellow cards.

"The only time as a coach you accept a yellow card is when somebody has stopped an otherwise certain try," Diamond told the Manchester Evening News.

"You certainly don't accept it like against Exeter where we're in midfield and had a good defensive line and suddenly Andrei Ostrikov comes round the side, Tom Arscott comes round the side and tries to kick the ball.

"It's just dumb and to get a bonus point against Exeter was remarkable considering we has three people off the field in the game - two of them at the same time.

"In that game, their fly-half Gareth Steenson kicked six penalties and they wouldn't have scored a try all day but we gave them three yellow cards - all kickable in front of the posts - which was nine points straight away.

"The idea is not to have any and to concede less than 10 penalties in a game and that message has been reinforced to the players.

"Viliami just took the player high but he'll have to learn quickly as the higher you go, the more citings will come in.

"The way we defend is that we go low and we chop tackle and that's why we get so many turnovers so we don't want anybody going very high.

"When we won at Harlequins last Friday we defended for 27 phases in the last eight minutes - it was remarkable and it proves why we don't need to give any penalties away or yellow cards."

Diamond that Fahiki would continue his English education playing for the Sharks 'A' team on Monday, with Sale ready to dip into the market for more recruits should injuries strike them down at scrum-half or hooker.

"Viliami won't be involved this weekend - he'll be with the Jets for their game at Bath on Monday and then he'll be involved in our league game at Saracens," added Diamond.

"For these lads from the Southern Hemisphere, it takes them a while to settle in. It was good to get him in the mix last Friday with the rest of the lads barely straight after he arrived but he'll be a good asset for us.

"As for the shape of the squad, we're running with two scrum-halves after the injury to Nathan Fowles and two hookers so if we took a knock in those areas we'd have to go out into the market.

"But we have the resources to do that."

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