Sale too good for Gloucester

Date published: March 29 2015

Johnny Leota and Josh Beaumont scored tries as Sale comfortably saw off Gloucester 23-6 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Sharks close the gap on the top six with the win, despite losing Nathan Hines and Danny Cipriani to yellow cards in the second half.

Following a scoreless opening exchange, Gloucester were fired into the lead via the boot of James Hook, after Matt Kvesic did well to win his side a penalty in kicking range.

Sale fought back in due time, sending a penalty into the corner in a spell where much of the game was spent inches from the try line.

And they were able to cross it eventually after 23 minutes, Leota inching his way over as the Sharks drove past the posts. Cipriani, fresh off England duty, converted.

It was the hosts who continued to threaten as the half wore on, only denied by the determined Gloucester backline who combined to make life tough for Sale, who went into the game on the back of two defeats to Leicester and Bath.

Hook reduced the deficit to a single point as he kicked through the posts in the final ten minutes of the half, but Cipriani was given the opportunity to get the lead up to four on the brink of half-time, making no mistake as Sale took a 10-6 lead into the break.

Cipriani again stretched that lead nine minutes into the second period, from a couple of metres inside the Gloucester half, but the remainder of the game was a tetchy affair under some rare sunshine.

The impressive Cipriani took advantage of another penalty conceded by Gloucester, kicking through before the second try of the afternoon came, and it was for the hosts again.

After a kick into the 22, Beaumont capitalised from close range, Cipriani again making no mistake as Sale stamped their authority on the game with less than 20 minutes to go.

Gloucester searched for a way back in, winning a set of five-metre lineouts, but despite coming close, it was the Sharks who emerged with the ball, much to the relief of the home crowd.

Though there was some disappointment for Sharks, who saw Hines sent to the sin-bin for an off the ball tackle on Nick Wood, as Gloucester had the man advantage for almost the remainder of the game.

Sale were again on the back foot, as Gloucester made another venture into their 22, but after another sustained spell of pressure, a wayward lineout saw Sharks win back the ball.

With four minutes to go and Hines returning, it became the turn of Cipriani to finish his game early, the second Shark to be sent into the bin after an intentional knock-on to kill a Gloucester attack.

But still Gloucester couldn't find a way through and Sale completed a comprehensive victory.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Leota, Beaumont
Cons: Cipriani 2
Pens: Cipriani 3
Yellow Cards: Hines, Cipriani

For Gloucester:
Pens: Hook 2

The teams:

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Dave Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Brady

Gloucester: 15 Billy Burns, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Nick Wood 
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 James Hudson, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Bill Meakes, 23 Ross Moriarty

Venue: AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Ashley Rowden
TMO: David Grashoff