Di­a­mond: Last five min­utes cost us

The Rugby Paper - - Aviva Premiership -

SALE di­rec­tor of rugby Steve Di­a­mond was pleased with their sec­ond half dis­play but was left to rue yet an­other poor start.

“In the sec­ond half, we con­trolled the game for 35 min­utes but we didn’t con­trol the last five,” Di­a­mond said. “We weren’t at the races in the first 20 min­utes and you can’t give top-four sides 25-point starts.

“You’ve got to give credit to New­cas­tle, they were ruth­less in the first 20 min­utes and we didn’t know what had hit us.”

New­cas­tle boss Dean Richards has not been sur­prised by their out­stand­ing sea­son, with the Fal­cons hav­ing a gen­uine chance of the top four.

He said: “Sea­son on sea­son, our aim is to im­prove on where we fin­ish the year be­fore and the play­ers have the am­bi­tion to do that, so in some re­spects this year isn’t a sur­prise.

“Hav­ing said that, we have won games that or­di­nar­ily I don’t think we would have done, but there is con­fi­dence within the team, which is grow­ing.

“Pro­vid­ing I can keep this group to­gether for the next five or six years then we will grow and grow.”

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