Planet Rugby

Gloucester sink at Sale

14th March 2008 21:44

Share:

Charlie Hodgson v Gloucester

Charlie Hodgson: Architect of Gloucester's downfall

Gloucester's Guinness Premiership campaign, which has stuttered in recent weeks, continued to do so on Friday with a 22-16 defeat at Sale at Edgeley Park.

Charlie Hodgson provided the inspiration as Sale reaffirmed their Guinness Premiership title credentials.

The fly-half was utilised by England as a replacement in last week's 15-9 defeat against Scotland in the Six Nations but sent back to his club after Danny Cipriani rejoined Brian Ashton's squad.

Hodgson was the stand-out player for the Sharks, kicking four penalties from five attempts, landing a delightful drop-goal and converting a try he orchestrated for Ben Foden in the 54th minute.

While Hodgson remains behind Cipriani and Jonny Wilkinson in the England pecking order, a personal points haul of 17 said everything about his value to Sale on a night when there was precious little freeflowing rugby on display.

A dreadful playing surface - the pitch resembled a cabbage patch - did not help matters but Sale fully deserved their victory against a Gloucester side decimated by injury and Six Nations call-ups.

This success ended a run of two straight defeats for Sale and keeps them handily placed in fourth spot.

Dean Ryan's men have now lost their last five encounters in Stockport but they at least claimed a bonus point to extend their lead at the Premiership summit.

The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty from Willie Walker in the seventh minute but Hodgson quickly converted two of his own to edge Sale ahead and they never looked back.

The Cherry and Whites threatened only sporadically - Anthony Allen narrowly failed to collect his own chip and chase in the 17th minute - but after Hodgson missed another penalty moments later, the pendulum swung back in Sale's favour.

The Yorkshireman's educated boot came to the fore again in the 24th minute when he claimed his third penalty from four attempts before Walker failed twice from distance within the space of three minutes.

While Sale were largely dominant in the opening periods, they were kept at bay by some obstinate defending from the visitors.

A minute before the interval, Chris Jones looked to have the easiest of tasks in ushering number eight Sebastien Chabal over the line in the left corner, but the pass was forward and the opportunity lost.

Another Walker penalty on the stroke of half-time kept Gloucester in contention at 9-6 but the fare served up during the opening 40 minutes was bitterly disappointing.

That changed after the break; largely due to Hodgson, who claimed his fourth penalty in the 43rd minute and then punished the visitors shortly after with a 30-metre drop-goal after second-row Dan Tuohy was sent to the sin-bin for a late challenge.

Hodgson was now into his stride and in the 54th minute an excellent long pass out to the right found Foden advancing forward at pace.

The full-back, returning to action after a shoulder injury, needed no second invitation to continue his burst and he showed the pace to dart through a gap in the Gloucester rearguard and cross the line.

It was just reward for an outstanding individual performance and Hodgson superbly added the extras from the near the touchline.

That put Sale 22-6 ahead and Walker claimed his third penalty before adding the extras to a late penalty try which earned Gloucester a bonus point.

The scorers:

For Sale:

Try: Foden

Con: Hodgson

Pens: Hodgson 4

Drop goal: Hodgson

For Gloucester:

Try: Penalty try

Con: Walker

Pens: Walker 3

Yellow card: Tuohy (47, Gloucester)

Sale: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Elvis Seveali'i, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Sililo Martens, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Chris Jones, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe (c), 3 Stuart Turner, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Lionel Faure.

Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Eifion Roberts, 18 Dean Schofield, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Will Cliff, 21 Lee Thomas, 22 Chris Mayor.

Gloucester: 15 James Bailey, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Mark Foster, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Will James, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Jack Forster, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Nick Wood.

Replacements: 16 Jeremy Paul, 17 Christian Califano, 18 Jonathan Pendlebury, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Mike Prendergast, 21 Ryan Lamb, 22 Leon Lloyd.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00