Disappointment over for Gloucester

Date published: September 17 2016

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys was delighted to see his side get a first win of the season away to Sale on Friday.

A crushing loss to Leicester on the opening day of the season, going down 38-31 having led 31-7, was followed by a 23-23 draw with Worcester in Round 2.

But Gloucester at last got the monkey off their back thanks to tries from John Afoa and Charlie Sharples and 16 points from the boot of Greig Laidlaw to win 26-13.

"We've obviously been very disappointed with the two results this season," Humphreys said. "We knew coming to Sale we had to be very strong defensively and we knew we had to be disciplined.

"Although we gave away too many penalties, our defensive maul was absolutely outstanding and for me that was the winning of the game, along with our general defence.

"For us, we've got 12 players unavailable in game three of the season and we've said so many times to be competitive in this league you need a depth to your squad."

Humphreys also paid tribute to Laidlaw and fly-half Billy Burns for directing the side through the closing stages to seal up the win.

He added: "There was much better game management from our half-backs, I thought they worked us into the positions.

"With Greig's kicking we don't even notice it now, it's been so good. If we get a penalty within the opposition half, you almost assume it's going to be three points.

"But Greig's influence on this group of players goes way beyond that, it's his leadership, his captaincy that he's brought to the team this year.

"I thought both he and Billy Burns dictated that last 20 minutes and it ultimately won us the game."