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Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 36 Saracens 36

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Director of rugby Steve Diamond insists Sale Sharks will keep throwing caution to the wind after an ending of mixed emotions in the thrilling 36-36 draw with Saracens.

Sale threw away a 17-point lead in the first half, but edged back ahead after three Danny Cipriani penalties.

Two individual errors then saw Mike Ellery and Nick Tompkins race over and seemingly sew up victory for Saracens – only for late tries from TJ Ioane and Tom Arscott to tie up the game.

And if not for a missed Cipriani conversion at the death Sale would have emerged with the win, but Diamond says he will still encourage his players to express themselves at every opportunity.

"It was a good game of rugby to watch. We are delighted to get the three points,” he said. “We were 10 points behind with 15 minutes to go so to come back and get to that, we are delighted.

"Will (Addison) and Mike (Haley) were trying their best but some errors came in but that is what happens,” he said. “In the last five games we have scored 19 tries and that is what we are good at doing, we will carry on in that vein and hopefully we will get results. Three points is good against the champions.

"With one we were going for a try and the lad has got it and run 80 yards and the other was a fumble. These lads have won games for us week in week out so it is one of them.”

Saracens now have a seven-point buffer over Exeter Chiefs – who play Bath Rugby on Sunday – at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

And with Sale are still unbeaten at home in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes the result can only be seen as a positive one.

"Overall, we've got to be satisfied to get three points at a place where a lot of teams have struggled this year,” he said.

"Especially after we were 17-0 down, I thought we showed some good resilience and character to come back into it.

"I guess the only disappointing thing was that when we got to 36-26 up, which seemed remarkable given the start we had, it was a little bit disappointing to let them back in but they probably deserved it on the balance of play.

"We needed to tighten up our defence. I thought we defended poorly in that first 20 minutes but we defended well in the second half.

"Even though they scored a couple of tries in the last ten minutes, they had to work hard for those tries whereas they didn't for the other three."

Sale: Haley; Addison, James, Leota, Arscott; Cipriani, Stringer; Harrison (Lewis-Roberts 46), Taylor (Briggs 67), Cobilas (Mujati 58); Evans, Ostrikov (Mills 67); Neild (Ioane 52), Seymour, Easter
Replacements: Cusiter, Ford, Jennings

Saracens: Ransom; Ellery, Bosch, Tompkins, Wyles; Hodgson (Mordt 36), Spencer; Lamositele (Barrington 63), Saunders (Porecki 67), Du Plessis (Figallo 41); Smith (Low 75), Hamilton; Brown, Burger (Rhodes 55), Wray
Replacements: Taylor, Earle

Sale
Tries: James, Leota, Arscott 2, Ioane
Conversions: Cipriani
Penalties: Cipriani 3

Saracens
Tries: Hamilton, Wyles 2, Tompkins, Ellery
Conversions: Hodgson, Spencer 3
Penalties: Hodgson
 
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
 

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