Sale Sharks managed a solid bonus point 24-19 victory over Gloucester in the Premiership at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.
Two tries apiece for Rob Miller and Dan Braid were enough for Sale to overcome a gallant Gloucester and move up to fifth in the league.
Gloucester started the game with pace and hunger, and were rewarded with a Martyn Thomas try. After a sliced box-kick by Dwayne Peel, Thomas bullied his way over in the corner to get the visitors off to a dream start.
Nigel Davies' men were then pegged back through an excellent Sale attack. Danny Cipriani's cut-out pass found Rob Miller, recently included in the England Saxons squad, to burrow his way over in the corner. He was at it again moments later, again taking in a Cipriani pass to slalom through the visitors' defence and put Sharks in front.
An entertaining half hour was completed when Gloucester scored a somewhat fortunate second try. Mark Cueto was unable to take in a kick, with Charlie Sharples taking full advantage to sneak past the veteran winger and over the line.
James Hudson's needless sin bin with just two minutes left in the first half allowed Sale to take the lead going into the break. Sharks went for a lineout, and Dan Braid was at the bottom of the Sharks pile, as the hosts went into the break 17-10 to the good.
Gloucester's indiscipline was punished once again at the start of the second half. Sila Puafisi was sent to the bin, and with the away side down to 13 players, they conceded once again. Another rolling maul was Sale's route to glory and a bonus point, with Dan Braid once again in possession.
Freddie Burns kept the visitors in touch with a penalty, as Sharks were looking to hold onto their third league victory of 2014. With four minutes left, Burns' penalty meant that Gloucester were just a converted try away from the win. They didn't get it though, and Sale held on.
Tries: Miller 2, Braid 2
Con: Cipriani 2
Tries: Thomas, Sharples
Pens: Burns 3
Yellow Cards: Puafisi, Hudson
Sale Sharks: 15 Robert Miller, 14 Thomas Brady, 13 John Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Johnathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Thomas Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Viliami Peauafi Fihaki, 20 Mark Easter, 21 William Cliff, 22 Nicholas Macleod, 23 Tom Arscott.
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Cox, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson (capt), 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Will James, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Robson, 23 Shane Monahan.
Referee: Matthew Carley