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Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond praises team after battling to a win over Exeter Chiefs

Last Updated: 08/02/13 11:10pm

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A third win on the bounce for Sale and Steve Diamond

A third win on the bounce for Sale and Steve Diamond

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Sale Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond praised his team's resilience after they battled back to beat Exeter Chiefs 21-16.

It was a stunning turnaround as the bottom-placed club recovered from trailing 16-5 to move within a point of London Irish and secure their third successive victory having qualified for the LV=Cup semi-finals last week.

"We're in the position through our own fault really. We've got a bit of momentum, we won those two games in the LV to give us some confidence and at half-time we got our house in order," Diamond said.

"The lads showed true spirit again, but it was always going to be a really tense game. There's a lot of hard work to do, but we can't bother about other results.

"Our next game is in nine days against London Welsh and we've got to prepare well, and we can hopefully get a result there. For 20 minutes in the second half, we played like we played last year where we recycled the ball quickly."

It was a special night for wing Mark Cueto who broke former team-mate Steve Hanley's Premiership try-scoring record, touching down for the 76th time domestically.

Diamond joked: "It's fantastic but it took him long enough to get it, although it finally shuts Steve Hanley up, so in reality it was a great night.

"The ironic thing is that we said all week that there was a good chance with the way James Gaskell was playing he would get man of the match, which he did, and Cueto would score the try."

Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter admitted that the failure to take their chances

eventually cost them the game.

Despite dominating the first 50 minutes and leading 16-5 through Watisoni Votu's converted touchdown and three Gareth Steenson penalties, Exeter succumbed to a late Sale onslaught.

Baxter said: "I'm a big believer that in most games of rugby you get what you

deserve and I think in the end we probably got what we deserved.

"From our perspective the game should have been dead and buried at half-time. You get that many try-scoring opportunities and yet you blow that many, sooner or later it's going to come back and haunt you.

"The fact that we got to 16-5 in the second half I was thinking that we were

going to ride through this one but we didn't."

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