Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Treble Yell Getting Louder for Sharks ; Diamond's Men Continue Impressive Form and Close in on Cup Semi- Finals

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Treble Yell Getting Louder for Sharks ; Diamond's Men Continue Impressive Form and Close in on Cup Semi- Finals

Article excerpt

SALE 20 WORCESTER 6 APPROPRIATELY enough in the week the Six Nations swings into gear, Sale are motoring on towards their own triple crown.

Already set fair for an assault on the top four in the Premiership and with a home Amlin Cup quarter-final already in the bag, Saturday's cruise to victory over a limited Worcester has suddenly put Sale in the driving seat to again reach the LV= Cup semifinals.

Twelve months ago, the Sharks defied their league traumas by marching all the way to the final, a run that helped galvanised their fight to avoid relegation.

A year on, Sale are a different beast altogether but having thrown away their opening LV= Cup game in the dying seconds against Bath last November, Steve Diamond's men looked to have torpedoed their hopes of going one better this time round and atoning for their final defeat by Harlequins.

Not now. A fourth successive win of the season over Dean Ryan's seemingly doomed Warriors _ combined with a defeat for Cardiff and a likely loss for Leicester, whose game at Harlequins was abandoned on 71 minutes because of safety concerns with Quins 20-6 to the good _ has utterly transformed pool two.

With a game to go, Sale are now a point clear at the top of both the Blues and the Tigers and should they gain a bonus point win at Ospreys on Friday, a last four place will be theirs.

"I was very glad to get the win and now we need to get a result at Ospreys and then see where we are in terms of the other results," declared a satisfied director of rugby Diamond.

"We got a lot out of the game and it was good to see young lads like Mike Haley and Mark Jennings play so well.

"I was also pleased with our hooker Dan Baines, who was making his debut for us.

"All told, it's a totally different scenario to last year.

"We've done well and we were able to give a lot of the squad a rest which is the important thing, so we'll run with the same squad again at Ospreys next week for what will now be another big game. …

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