Fixtures - Top Bar

Match reaction: Sale Sharks 18 Exeter Chiefs 11

CiprianiSale1005

Getting the basics right was the key to Sale Sharks’ success according to director of rugby Steve Diamond, who saw his side produced a patient and probing performance to see off Exeter Chiefs.

A swirling wind and heavy rain provided challenging conditions at the AJ Bell Stadium and resulted in a stunted first half but despite their dominance, the home side could only muster a three-point advantage at the break.

However, second-half tries from Mark Cueto and Danny Cipriani put Sale in the driving seat as Exeter struggled to get a foothold in the match.

And Diamond says it was his side’s commitment to perfecting their fundamentals on the day that was the difference.

“I think the first-half performance was to some people a little bit frustrating but it was a hell of a gale out there and the rain and sleet was coming down,” he said.

“We managed to go in three up and in the second half we managed to keep them down there and contain them.

“We made them tackle very hard and we said at half time that they would be knackered because they had the ball 20 per cent of the time and were defending 80 per cent of the time.

“We said before the game that we had about 280 caps playing and we have got three or four young lads coming through the academy who stepped up.

“We haven’t got the most skilful players but we work hard at the things that don’t take a lot of talent and skill. When we get that right and you keep the ball in the right part of the field you win the game.”

Gareth Steenson’s first-half penalty had kept Exeter within three points at the break and, while they struggled to impose themselves on the match, they remained in touch throughout.

Cipriani’s try proved decisive for Rob Baxter’s troops but they never stopped fighting as Thomas Waldrom dotted down for another try this season with ten minutes remaining.

However, they couldn’t turn any of their momentum in the final stages into points and Baxter admitted the best team won on the night.

“I thought Sale deserved the win because they got the important bits of the game right,” said Baxter.

“Fair play to them, we knew before the game what would be important, the set-piece battle, territory and discipline and they came out on top in all of those areas.

“I have no complaints about the result and, if anything, we’ll look back at that as an important losing bonus point as there was a while in that game that even that looked beyond us.

“I’ve just said to the guys well done for sticking in there and getting something out of the game as that is important when you go away in the Aviva Premiership but we’ve got to take it on the chin that we were beaten in areas that we had to be on top of if we were going to win.”

Sale Sharks: Haley, Addison, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto, Cipriani (Ford 59), Cusiter (Cliff 59), Lewis-Roberts (Harrison 59), Jones (Mamukashvili 67), Cobilas, Mills (Ostrikov 59), Hines, Braid, Lund (Seymour 67), Beaumont
Replacements not used: Flynn, Jennings
 
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman, Nowell, Slade, Whitten (Hill 59), Jess, Steenson, Chudley (Thomas 67), Moon (Rimmer 59), Cowan-Dickie (Yeandle 49), Low (Brown 59), Mumm, Welch, Ewers, White (Lees 47), Waldrom
Replacements not used: Horstmann, Hughes
 
Scorers
   
Sale Sharks
Tries: Cueto, Cipriani
Conversions: Cipriani
Penalties: Cipriani 2
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Waldrom
Penalties: Steenson 2 
 
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 5,266

From 9am on Boxing Day get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click this link to take advantage of this great offer

Latest News

European Challenge Cup quarter-final draw made

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

Gloucester Rugby v Bayonne - European Rugby Challenge Cup

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Jack O’Connell eyeing Bristol Rugby momentum from European finale

Qualification for the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stages may be beyond Bristol Rugby but Jack O’Connell claims they are…

666710651_tm_0740_96dd8701c3a7992af96ab9d019ac86f2.jpg