Fixtures - Top Bar

Braid: Diamond’s message is crystal clear

Steve Diamond’s message for Sale Sharks has been to keep it simple and after back-to-back Aviva Premiership Rugby victories, skipper Dan Braid insists less is most definitely more.

Jekyll & Hyde best sums up Sharks’ opening to the season, with wins over Wasps and London Welsh quickly followed by heavy defeats to Saracens and Northampton Saints.

But something has clearly clicked since Aviva Premiership Rugby returned from its LV= Cup window, after backing up a dominant performance over London Irish with their first victory in eight goes against Harlequins.

Those results have shunted Sale back into the chasing pack as just two points separate Diamond’s men, Leicester Tigers, Wasps and Quins in mid-table.

A third win in three up at Newcastle Falcons this weekend would really set tongues wagging – and Braid says their upturn in form has been a case of getting back to basics.

“We’ve really fronted up in two games and dominated sides physically,” said Braid, who scored the winning try against Quins. “We really regrouped over two weeks in the LV=Cup and fixed our set pieces.

“Dimes (Diamond) has simplified things again and our scrum’s come good, with our lineout we know what we’re doing but it’s just about executing our throw. It’s about doing the simple things well.

“We came under a little bit more pressure against a smart team like Harlequins but we managed it and I think our attitude and our defence in that game really got us through.

“This block of three, we’ve really targeted this knowing that we needed to get the wins here. At least two out of three.  

“You want to perform in every game that you play in, with the two European games, you can really lose some confidence if you don’t go out well and perform in those games. So we’ve got to make sure that we front up there.

“But we sat down at the start of the season and said the Premiership really is our focus and that’s what we want to do well in. This Christmas period is massive, just one away game and then two home games that we really need to win.”

Though Sale’s recipe may be simple Danny Cipriani has been the mystery ingredient from fly-half, with England choosing not to call upon his services this autumn.

And Braid believes that while the 27-year-old’s continued presence at the AJ Bell is England’s loss, it is ultimately his side’s gain.

He added: “It’s unfortunate for Cips that he hasn’t been picked and put in there because I think in that structure and in that team he could offer a lot.  But to have him here playing so well and driving the game is massive.

“Mike Haley’s come in and with Luke McLean being away he’s really gone well at full-back. Will Cliff’s really stepped up at half back as well which creates competition in the positions.”

This Christmas, Premiership Rugby is offering fans a special gift with selected tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click here to find out about this limited offer.

Latest News

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…

England Squad Announced to Play in Old Mutual Wealth Cup Against the Barbarians

Eddie Jones has named his England squad to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup against the Barbarians on Sunday…