Steve Diamond - We fought like dogs

Sale Sharks players celebrate. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond sidestepped Bath's claims for a penalty try after his side conceded six penalties in the same sequence of 10 scrums - and came away with a precious 12-11 victory at the Recreation Ground.

Sale's match-winner was fly-half Danny Cipriani, who scored four penalties from four attempts to outshine Bath's George Ford, with England's newest cap missing three of his five place-kicks including the crucial conversion of Ross Batty's 75th minute try.

"If you've got that much ball in that situation the onus is on the attacking side to do something with it," said Diamond.

"All we can do is defend as best we can.

"I think Henry (Thomas) was unlucky to get a yellow card - it was just a slip. I don't think the scrums went back. On another day with another referee, you never know - but it didn't happen, did it?"

Cipriani had been ill all week and missed training but insisted on playing, according to Diamond, whose side overcame other troubles even before kick-off.

"We had a 10-hour journey down yesterday on the M6 and then we had our two senior players - Mark Cueto and Dan Braid - cry off in the team run, so we had our backs against the wall," Diamond said.

"As we've proved time and time again, we fought like dogs and got the result."

For all the controversy of the second-half scrums, Sale were in control for much of the match.

Diamond added: "Danny Cipriani and Dwayne Peel are good players. Our defence has been good all year. We managed to control their midfield, who run everything, but they ran into a white wall.

"We managed to get the spoils from either turnovers or penalties and edged our way in front."