Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

RAMPANT SALE HAND IRISH A REAL MAULING ; Diamond Calls for More of the Same as His Forward Pack Steamroll Sharks to Big Victory.

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

RAMPANT SALE HAND IRISH A REAL MAULING ; Diamond Calls for More of the Same as His Forward Pack Steamroll Sharks to Big Victory.

Article excerpt

SALE SHARKS................36 LONDON IRISH................8 ROM the ridiculous to the sublime.

FSix days on from the mother of all LV= Cup meltdowns at Leicester, the rampant Sharks stormed back to Premiership duty by bulldozing the flimsy challenge of London Irish with a five-try onslaught.

Not only did Sale record their biggest-ever win over Irish in 18 years of top-flight rugby, the manner of their display, according to satisfied director of rugby Steve Diamond, also served as a template for the rest of their season.

And the Sharks' commander-in-chief then challenged his players to maintain the passion and intensity of Saturday's high-octane performance for the rest of the campaign.

"That's the Sale we know and that's the Sale we want to see week in, week out. I was really pleased with the performance," Diamond declared.

"As a team we need to get out of that rollercoaster ride of being up and down and being inconsistent.

"We want consistency and Saturday's win means we can travel to Harlequins on Friday night with no pressure on us.

"All the players have to do is stick to the script that we agree on and they did that to a man on Saturday.

"In trying to achieve the goals we've set of being in the top six you have to be up there at Christmas in the table and we are all aware of that.

"So we've got to get points from the next two games at Quins and Newcastle.

"It's about belief - that's what we worked on in the week and that's what we delivered."

The key behind Sale's welcome return to winning ways was a dominant pack that not only bullied Irish into submission but almost literally drove the Exiles into the nearby Manchester Ship Canal given their mastery and execution of the rolling maul.

After David Seymour's early try had put Sale ahead such was the Sharks control up front that their combined efforts - one from a ferocious 40m maul, the other from a scrum - brought about the award of two penalty tries from referee Matthew Carley and saw the Exiles at one stage reduced to 13 men with both David Paice and Luke Narraway sent to the bin.

With skipper Dan Braid marking his welcome return to the Premiership with another touchddown from Sale's monster maul, Diamond admitted his marching Panzer pack were a key part of his side's armoury. …

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