SALE Sharks' director of rugby Steve Diamond remained positive despite seeing his side beaten 30-25 at Exeter Chiefs in their Premiership clash last weekend.

Sharks caused the hosts problems on the day with Denny Solomona's try being complemented by AJ MacGinty's good kicking display.

Diamond told the club's website: "It was a game we could have won, rather than should have.

"It was a game dominated by the wind. I'm a bit disappointed with the result but we had a blip against Northampton, where we didn't turn up, so I expected more of a performance and we delivered.

"So many teams come here (Sandy Park) and are scared of their line-out drive so they don't perform.

"They scored from the first drive, but we continued to get men up in the air and they overthrew a couple of times after that. Our pressure really started to show on them.

"We stopped them playing a lot of rugby.

"Our defence was good, our line-out defence was good, and they had to think outside the box.

"They thought they could kick to the corner and score every time but we repelled them."

Diamond was pleased with the overall display and reserved praise for MacGinty and Solomona.

Speaking straight after the game, he added: "It's taken AJ a while to settle in with how we've been trying to play, and we've had to alter our game a little bit to his abilities, but to do what he did today, away from home in this competition, we're really happy with him.

"We slipped to eight points behind and in the past he'd look to shut up shop, look to kick and play on his own almost.

"But today we were still able to get the ball wide, and although we didn't get the try, it led to us getting the penalty at the end.

"Denny is a world-class finisher.

"He's got 78 tries in the past two Super League seasons, so we know he takes his opportunities.

"He's proving a good defender too, and he's a bright spark for rugby union as a whole."

Sharks have a blank weekend and are back in action next Friday when they welcome Worcester Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium, kick off 7.45pm.