The Sale Sharks claimed a comfortable 40-7 victory over the Bristol Bears on Saturday with the Sharks' breakdown key to the side's victory with Steve Diamond's men winning a massive 12 turnovers compared to Bristols four.
While Faf de Klerk was named man of the match in the clash, the pack certainly made his job easier with Steve Diamond revealing some insight into how his side are able to dominate at the breakdown.
During the opening 40 minutes Diamond revealed to BT Sports Sale's renewed approach to hunting turnovers at the breakdown. The Sharks' boss said that only Akker van der Merwe and the Curry twins, Ben and Tom Curry, would be allowed to jackal, in order to keep the side’s penalty count low as well as being canny about the likliest time to steal ball.
This comes after the extreme penalty count in the first few rounds of the resumption of the Premiership with referees taking a stricter outlook on the breakdown.
Diamond's comments did not go unnoticed with a many taking to twitter to comment on his insight as Ben Curry won a turnover shortly after Diamond's insight.
Steve Diamond says "Curry, Curry & Akker van der Merwe can have a go. The rest can't." This is what the law interpretations will hopefully achieve. The best technical jackals get their rewards, but those slumping over the ball to kill it, won't.— Chris Jones BBC (@chjones9) August 29, 2020
Fascinating insight there from Steve Diamond. Only allowing the Curry brothers and Van der Merwe to compete at the breakdown to avoid chasing lost causes and conceding penalties. Says risk v reward has become too high. #SALvBRI— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) August 29, 2020
Hang on a second, AJ MacGinty has just made a breakdown turnover...— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) August 29, 2020
Mutiny on Diamond's hands! 😜#SALvBRI
The renewed approach comes after Tom Curry and Akker van der Merwe have shining in that department from the opening rounds while Ben Curry put on a clinic in the midweek fixture against Wasps winning five turnovers.
While Diamond's new gameplan did lead to an effective breakdown performance against Bristol not all of the players may have got the memo with Daniel du Preez winning a pair of turnovers as too did AJ MacGinty.
His designated 'stealers' did have plenty of success with Akker van der Merwe coming up with a turnover with grabbing four and Ben grabbing a pair.
The victory sees Sale Sharks move into second place on the Premiership standings while Bristol walked away with no league points from the clash and now sit in third just one point ahead of Bath who host Wasps on Monday with the visitors a further point behind Bath.
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