TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 38 Scarlets 3

Sale boss Steve Diamond warned his side that they will have to up their game when they return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action next week, despite a crushing LV= Cup win over Scarlets.

Sale struck early through flanker Dan Braid before tries from Mike Haley and Tom Arscott saw them take a healthy 21-3 lead into the dressing room at half-time.

Arscott – who signed a new two-year deal with the club this week – grabbed a second to secure the bonus point before replacements Tom Brady and Viliami Fihaki added gloss to a dominant performance from the hosts.

With both sides already out of the tournament, Diamond admitted motivation was a concern for his coaching team before the match.

“It was a dead rubber game so it was difficult to get the lads motivated for it and we didn’t play very well and if we play like that next week in the Premiership we’ll get beat,” he said.

“In reality we should have 40 or 50 points on the board.

“A few individuals played well for us like Mike Haley as well as Max Cobilas and Cameron Neild when they came on but there was no cohesion as a group and we need to have a good hard training week now before we got to London Welsh.”

Meanwhile, Scarlets coach Ioan Cunningham thinks his young side will benefit from the experience of playing top-level rugby.

"We obviously had a mix of players from our feeder clubs and some of our pro players from the region," he said.

"Firstly it was a great experience for them to play against strong opposition and I think we stuck in well until the end.

“It was difficult, Sale had a load of experience in their pack and it was a tough day there. We tried to increase the tempo in second half but it just didn’t quite come our way.

“It is difficult but for our young development players coming through our academy they would have learned so much today just coming up against an opposition like that.”
 
Sale Sharks: Haley, Arscott, Leota, Tuitupou, Cueto (Brady 62), Macleod (Ford 52), Cliff (Fowles 62), Lewis-Roberts (M Cobilas 49), Jones (Neild 31), V Cobilas (Harrison 52), Mills, Hines (Fihaki 52), Braid (Easter 62), Seymour, Beaumont

Scarlets: Philips, Evans K (Williams Ri 72), Evans I, Warren Ad, Warren Aa (Williams L 56), Climo (James 68), Williams Rh, Thomas, Harris (Myhill 68), Leung (Sebastian 46), Payne, Jones (Lloyd 68), Osborn, Bennett (Middleton 73), Pitman
Replacements not used: Adriaanse
 
Scorers
 
Sale
Tries: Braid, Haley, Arscott 2, Brady, Fihaki
Conversions: Macleod 3, Ford
 
Scarlets
Penalties: Climo
 
Referee: Neil Hennessy
Attendance: 4,312
 
Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale.Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

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