Diamond: 'It could have been worse'
January 12, 2013
Josh Beaumont makes his debut for Sale against Montpellier © Getty Images
Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond was pleased with his side's showing against Montpellier and admitted "it could have been a lot worse".
Sale fell 27-6 to a strong Montpellier side on Friday evening and the Sharks team featured plenty of youth with the likes of 19-year-old centre Mark Jennings starting. The Sharks are battling to avoid the drop from the Aviva Premiership and with their Heineken Cup qualification hopes sunk in December, Diamond opted to shuffle his pack.
The Sale coach also opted to hand Josh Beaumont his full debut and Diamond was pleased with his team's performance. "I thought after the first scrum of the game we were in for a really hard night but they showed a lot of character," Diamond said. "There were a lot of positives moving forward into the league. It could have been a lot worse.
"We have to look at what's important to us and the Aviva is our lifeblood and bread and butter. We've got a lot out of today. The young centre Mark Jennings and Josh Beaumont did well.
"A lot of people put their hands up and showed what character we've got in the team. A guy who takes a lot of the press generally who played well tonight was Danny Cipriani. If he sticks to his kicking game for us he will be great.
"He keeps the forwards going. We were in the game at half-time because of Danny's kicking. We played well in parts but overall their dominance showed and they deserved the score."
Montpellier, flying high in the French League, made it four successive wins to keep alive their qualification hopes, much to the delight of coach Fabien Galthie. "Victory and the bonus point is a good result for us. We now need to beat Toulon, simple as that," Galthie said. "We are going to try."
The former France scrum-half was delighted with the performance of Scotland number eight Johnnie Beattie, who was at the heart of a dominant pack display. "We are very happy for him," he said. "He is one of the best players in the team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection