Diamond issues warning after Sharks hang on for first win
STEVE Diamond has urged his Sale side to get their ‘backsides into gear’ or they face a major beating against Exeter Chiefs next weekend.
The Sharks beat Worcester Warriors 21-15 for their first win of the new Premiership season on Sunday but they were hanging on at the end to a side many have tipped for relegation.
First-half tries from Josh Beaumont and Denny Solomona, plus three penalties from fly-half AJ MacGinty, made the difference for the Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium, but now they face a daunting trip to Sandy Park – where Exeter lost just twice last season.
And Diamond insists they cannot repeat yesterday’s second-half performance if they want to emerge from top-of-the-table Exeter with anything other than a heavy defeat.
“If we play like we did in the second half, then we will be killed by Exeter. We need to get our backsides into gear and see how we do,” the director of rugby said.
“At half-time all we said was keep doing what we do, if we keep the same amount of ball in the second half then we will win the game.
“We came out the blocks first half, we had a lot of ball and played well.
“We defended 25/30 phases before half-time so we came in with all the positives.
“We were not swinging from the chandelier in the changing room, we just said that we have started well, so let’s make sure we put this game to bed. In the end it was enough.”
Diamond responded to last weekend’s 51-23 loss to Harlequins by bringing former England international Josh Beaumont into the back row, and it worked brilliantly.
“A win was important let’s be honest,” Diamond added. “We got a good hiding last week, and today we got through it. What Worcester did at half-time was obviously get their a**** into gear, and that is how competitive it is.”