Steve Diamond: Sale Sharks ‘missing bite’ as they scrape draw with Newcastle Falcons

Sale Sharks were held to their first draw of the season at home to Newcastle Falcons in the rain-lashed AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.

The adverse conditions played their part in disrupting the flow of both teams but it was Newcastle that adjusted best, managing to cross the Sharks’ tryline twice.

Sale’s 15 points all came courtesy of the boot of Danny Cipriani, but it was the kicker who lost the chance to take victory in the closing seconds as his sixth penalty attempt swung wide, an almost carbon copy of his failed drop-kick in Sale’s previous Premiership clash against Harlequins.

“Let’s be honest, we should have kicked the goal at the end, if you do you win the game,” said Diamond.

“We should have kicked the goal against Harlequins, should’ve won the game, so we are six points off now,” he said.

“We should be in the top three after our last two performances so we have got to look at that and grow again.

“The last time we did not score and had two put against us I cannot remember, maybe there is something missing, a bit of bite.”

The whole team underwhelmed and Diamond was not placing the blame solely on Cipriani’s shoulders however as bottom-of-the-table Falcons showed their best form so far this season.

“We were kicking the ball too much and not keeping it on the field, three driving mauls, three penalties, I think that’s all we got.

“We came across a tough side who have got a lot of desire and want to get themselves off the foot of the table and showed that today.

“They deserved the draw if not a bit more. We knew the weather was going to be bad all week, what we did not do was adjust to the weather as well as the opposition.

“Fair play to them, they played against the wind; it seemed to drop but I think the half time possession stats were 30% to us and 70 to them.

“We could not get into the game and everything they played today they executed very well.

“We were playing a so called side from the bottom but it did not look like that out there today.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s clash away to 10th placed Gloucester, Diamond warned that his side have a tough task as they seek to win away from home for the first time this season.

“We have got to go to Gloucester a difficult place to go on a Friday night and get something out of it.”

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks via YouTube, with thanks.

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