Take cup form into Aviva Premiership: Steve Diamond challenges Sale Sharks after sealing semi-final

By Ed Owen

After witnessing his side seal LV= Cup semi-final qualification against Wasps, Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond hoped their form could be translated into the league. 

The Sharks took advantage of sin-binnings to Charlie Davies and Will Taylor to run in three tries – the resulting 33-30 victory being their first away from home victory this season.

And after seeing his side inflict a season-first home defeat on Wasps, Diamond hoped his players will use the boost to kick on in all competitions.

“Any win that gets us to a home semi-final is going to be good for our confidence and we need the confidence that we can get to be honest,” he said.

“We’re rock bottom of the Premiership and we’ve got to get off that.

“I think that if we can get through the semi and into a final and finish tenth we can say job done at the end of the season.”

After winning ten out of ten in front of their Adams Park fans, Wasps looked to be on their way with a try from scrum-half Davies on six minutes – Stephen Jones converted.

With the Welshman adding another penalty score minutes later, the Sharks hit back with a penalty try before Kearnan Myall barrelled through the Wycombe-based side’s line to go over.

Cipriani converted both to take the score to 14-10, but between another Jones penalty and a Tommy Bell drop-kick from inside Sale’s half the hosts were 16-14 ahead at half-time.

However, the sin-binning of Taylor just after the break changed the game – already lacking Davies following his dismissal before the break, Sami Tuitupou charged over from the resulting line-out.

Tommy Taylor broke through the Wasps defence minutes later to take a second try for the Sharks, with Cipriani converting both efforts.

And the former England international twisted the knife in the 13-man opponents with a try of his own, although he was unable to add the points.

Though Wasps threatened a comeback with an 80th-minute Davies try and another from Sam Jones after the sin-binning of Aston Croall – both converted by Bell – Sale held on.

Following an extended run of cup fixtures, the bottom-placed Sharks now return to domestic concerns with a home game against Exeter Chiefs next Friday.

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks.

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