SALE Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond hailed the character of his players in the wake of Friday's 20-20 European Challenge Cup draw with Toulouse.

In a thrilling encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium, Sharks produced a superb second-half display to fight back from 14-3 down with Denny Solomona and Bryn Evans both touching down for Sale either side of the break.

Only a 74th-minute penalty from the visitors denied Sale what would have been a memorable victory against the high-flying Top 14 side and left both teams with two points apiece.

However, Diamond said there were many positives to take from the game and challenged his players to replicate their fine second-half form tomorrow when the Sharks travel to France to take on Top 14 leaders Lyon.

"I'm proud of the lads. It was a good performance in that second half and I'm glad that we have not lost at home so I'm pretty chuffed really," said the Sale boss.

"I suppose we have got to be happy with a draw in the end. We didn't play particularly well in the first half but I thought we adapted well after the break.

"They didn't look like scoring in the second half and with the rub of the green on a couple of decisions we might have sneaked it.

"They've had a short turnaround to be fair to them and there were a couple of soft tries where they ran through the middle of us which we thought we'd sorted.

"But against a very good side, we've got to be happy with the draw.

"We are good at home and the challenge for us now is to go to Lyon and put in another performance like that against a side that are top of the French league.

"We are a work in progress and we just have to make sure that next week we don't go away from home and be the Sale we have been in three games away so far this season.

"Our ambition is to get to the next stage of the competition. To do that you have to win your homes games so we need to pick up something away from home next week."