Sale Sharks’ Director of Rugby Steve Diamond was left baffled by some of the refereeing decisions during his sides narrow 22-20 defeat to the Exeter Chiefs in the Heineken Champions Cup yesterday.
“I was disappointed in the last 10 minutes. It was probably Rob Baxter’s longest 10 minutes for a long time.” explained Diamond.
“I thought the decisions weren’t correct in a couple of areas – firstly at the drive and then secondly at the scrum.
“We were dominant at the scrum but we didn’t get the just rewards. We eventually scored from it, but it could have been 10 minutes earlier, which would have given us another 10 minutes to have another go.”
? A massive thank you to everyone who came out to support the lads yesterday, and made the @AJBellGroup stadium look like THIS ?.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) December 9, 2019
Despite feeling that decisions didn’t go his way, Diamond admitted that Exeter were the better side on the day.
“A side like Exeter will just prey on you and we didn’t exit from a couple of set pieces and a couple of areas, but apart from that I thought we did enough to challenge but they just did enough to edge us on the day,” he said.
There were some positives to take away from the performance according to Diamond.
He said: “We changed a few things in the week, having spoke with a few of the senior lads about our attack and that went really well.
“We gave away a couple of soft tries in the first half and didn’t score one in the first half. Our driving maul was good.”
Diamond will be looking to correct those errors during training this week before the return fixture at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Image credit: Sale Sharks