Sale beat Biarritz: Steve Diamond praises dominant forward pack

Director of rugby Steve Diamond reserved special praise for his forwards as Sale beat Biarritz 33-10 in their first Challenge Cup group match.

The Sharks pack were dominant against the struggling French outfit, with two of their three scores penalty tries.

"It's been a long time since we've put a pack to the sword like that," Diamond told BBC Radio Manchester.

"We wanted to up our defence. It was outstanding and I think Biarritz will be sore for a week after that game."

Second-rower Andrei Ostrikov also went over as Sale registered a fourth win in six outings this season.

Sale fly-half Joe Ford kicks a drop goal against Biarritz

Joe Ford joined Sale Sharks from Championship outfit Leeds Carnegie during pre-season

Summer signing Joe Ford, who was making his first start for the Sharks at fly-half, kicked 16 points and his performance has given Diamond a selection dilemma ahead of Sale's Challenge Cup trip to Worcester on 19 October.

Danny Cipriani has impressed in recent Premiership matches, but Diamond said Ford's display was just as assured.

"He [Ford] got a big knock on his head early doors, but he kicked impeccably and his field-position kicking was good," added the 45-year-old.

"If people come off the bench, get selected and play like they do, it makes it difficult for us. But that's what you want to have - a situation where you don't know what your first team is."