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Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 3 Sale Sharks 10

Director of rugby Steve Diamond admits Sale Sharks finally proved a point away from home as they ended their eight-year barren run at Welford Road against Leicester Tigers.

Sale had entered the game on a three-game winning streak in Aviva Premiership Rugby but Leicester, who they had not beaten in their dozen previous encounters, were a different proposition.

As it was, Tigers were second best all day as captain Josh Beaumont got the all-important breakthrough in the second half to secure a 10-3 Sale victory.

Freddie Burns and Danny Cipriani had traded a penalty apiece, but though the latter was pulling the strings for Sale, he endured a wayward tee in difficult conditions in the East Midlands – missing five out of seven attempts.

In the end it didn’t matter and with Sale now seven points behind the top four – with a game in hand – and Diamond was hugely encouraged by their first away-day success in Aviva Premiership Rugby for 12 months

“It was a tough fight but we just managed to get that score from a line-out and drive and we are delighted with the win,” he said.

"In the first half we had a lot of possession and territory. The second half was more even but we managed to pull the trigger at the right time. It was always going to be decided by one score.

"We are a good side. We know we have a good record at home but if you are going to challenge for the top four you have to beat sides away and we did that.

"Both kickers missed kicks.The wind was swirling all over the place so we had to stay patient. I thought Danny controlled the game well and credit to him, he didn't get despondent with missing those kicks."

The loss broke Leicester’s 100 per cent record at home this season but Leicester are still in a commanding position, eight wins from 11 games leaving them in third place.

And Leicester boss Richard Cockerill is eager to put a line under the result after conceding Sale had more firepower in the pack on the day.

"It was a tough game. Sale played well in tough conditions and deserved it,” said Cockerill.

"Physically they just about edged it and it turned when they brought the two props on. They were probably stronger than us there in that regard.

"They were fully loaded and we weren't but it is what it is. Cipriani missed 12 or 15 points in the first half so we were fortunate to be in touch at half-time.

"We are disappointed but we are still in third place. We will take a point and move on."
 
Leicester: Bell (Roberts 36); Betham, Tait, Smith, Camacho; Burns, Harrison; Mulipola, Ghiraldini (Bateman 56), Balmain; Barrow, Kitchener; Fitzgerald, McCaffrey, Crane (Croft 56)
Not used: Thacker, Brugnara, de Chaves, Kitto, Loamanu
Sale: Haley; Addison, James, Tuitupou, Edwards; Cipriani, Cusiter (Stringer 55); Harrison (Lewis-Roberts 55), Taylor, Cobilas (Mujati 55); Evans, Ostrikov (Mills 71); Neild, Ioane (Seymour 69), Beaumont
Not used: Briggs, Ford, Arscott  

SCORERS
 
Leicester Tigers
Penalty: Burns

Sale Sharks
Tries: Beaumont
Conversions: Cipriani
Penalty: Cipriani

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance: 22,737
 

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