Sale overpower depleted Saints after Diamond's cutting remarks


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The Independent Online

The Sale executive director of sport, Steve Diamond, was beaming with pride after his side overcame Northampton 29-21 at Edgeley Park to claim their third straight Premiership victory last night.

Sale ran in three second-half tries from Mark Easter, Dwayne Peel and David Seymour to come from behind to continue their encouraging start to the campaign. The visitors had forwards Calum Clark and Phil Dowson sent to the sin-bin midway through the second half and the Sharks took advantage by overpowering Saints.

Diamond said: "What we've done is take all the excuses out and given the players the best possible facilities and knowledge. At half-time the lads had not performed to the level that we know we can perform.

"It wasn't a rollicking session at half-time. We just said that if we get the ball out wide then we could score tries and we did that, courtesy of them having 13 men."

The Northampton director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, felt Clark's yellow card for obstruction was harsh but had no complaints with Dowson being penalised for kicking the ball away.

Gloucester's Bryan Redpath has demanded a major improvement ahead of today's West Country derby against Bath at Kingsholm. The coach was outspoken about last weekend's 42-6 defeat to Harlequins: "I would have been embarrassed if I was a player on the pitch last week. The Gloucester people stood in the rain and we didn't perform. If you play for Gloucester you must give your heart and soul and that's all I expect."

In today's other fixtures, Leicester host Saracens while winless Newcastle are at London Irish. Worcester face unbeaten leaders Harlequins with tomorrow's only game being Wasps playing Exeter away.