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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00