Sale Sharks Head Coach Paul Deacon praised his players at the end of a tough first week without former boss Steve Diamond.
Diamond left the club he had been at for 10 years due to personal reasons on Tuesday, giving his role to Deacon, who had just a handful of days to prepare his squad for the Champions Cup.
Deacon has said that his team had done Diamond proud after their 26-14 defeat to RC Toulon on Saturday 12 December.
ᴍᴀᴛᴄʜ ʜɪɢʜʟɪɢʜᴛꜱ 🦈
— Sale Sharks 🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) December 13, 2020
He said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t get the result. I think the lads did Steve proud. He put this squad together. Hopefully he was watching and enjoyed it.”
After a brutal 60 minutes which included tries from Toulon wingers Gabin Villiere and Ramiro Moyano, and a man of the match performance from fly-half Louis Carbonel who kicked 16 points.
Sale found themselves 26-0 down, but they showed some resilience to score consolation tries from Marland Yarde and Sam Phillips.
“I’m proud of their efforts” said Deacon. “We coughed up a bit of the ball and there was a few unforced errors which cost us, but I can’t knock their effort.
“It was what I was after this week – the togetherness was fantastic with the way we fought back in the last 20 minutes.
“We threw the ball around and thats how we want to play. There was lots of positives to take.”
— Sale Sharks 🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) December 15, 2020
He continued: “The scoreboard got away from us in the first half which was unfortunate, but the lads stuck at it and that was a pleasing thing. We’ve got our structures in place and the lads didn’t go off them.”
“From that point of view it really pleasing, but it’s always disappointing when you don’t get the result. Next week is a new week and hopefully we can improve on that performance.”
Sale Sharks winger, Marland Yarde commented: “I think we troubled one of the best sides in Europe. In the first half we could have kept the ball a little better, but i like the fight we had in us at the end.
“I thought we dug deep and we knew if we kept going throughout the game, we’d get our time.
“We fell short but looking ahead to next week, if we can join up some of our errors I think we’ll get a better result.”
Sale’s next game in the Champions Cup is against Edinburgh at home on Saturday December 19 at 8:00 pm.