Sale Sharks bounce back with bonus-point success over Gloucester that sends them top

Planet Rugby
Sale Sharks wing Arron Reed after scoring.

Sale Sharks wing Arron Reed after scoring.

Sale Sharks bounced back from last weekend’s hefty 43-0 defeat to Exeter as they overcame Gloucester 24-10 in a bonus-point victory in the Premiership.

A brace of tries from Arron Reed were added to by crossings from Ben Curry and new signing Agustin Creevy as Sale claimed a maximum on home soil.

Freddie Thomas would score Gloucester‘s only try of the match late on as the Cherry and Whites suffer a second defeat out of their opening four fixtures.

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Victory moved the Sharks to top of the league ahead of Saturday’s fixtures, while another disappointing defeat for Gloucester sees them languishing in sixth.

On a wet night at Salford Stadium, Gloucester opened proceedings with a penalty as George Barton bisected the posts in the 12th minute following an error-strewn opening from both sides due to the conditions.

Sale responded immediately to going three points down by scoring a try just two minutes later, making good use of penalty advantage by shipping wide to set Reed away for a score in the corner.

Upon his return to the Sharks side after the conclusion of the World Cup, George Ford struggled amid the testing conditions, missing the conversion for the try before striking wide with two penalty efforts.

But it was his up-and-under which led to the Sharks’ second, as Jack Reeves spilled in the air allowing Gus Warr to snaffle up the loose ball. The scrum-half set Reed away on the left flank and he had too much pace for Jake Morris and Gloucester’s retreating defence.

Ford converted on this occasion as his kick from wide handed the Sharks a deserved 12-3 half-time lead.

The second half started in a similar manner to the first as both teams struggled to play their rugby.

Returning for his first game following a six-month injury lay-off, flanker Curry ignited Sale into action upon his introduction in the 51st minute, scoring within a minute to extend the Sharks’ lead to 14 points.

Gloucester looked to have set up a grandstand finish in the 66th but a superb tackle from the ever-industrious Warr denied them a near-certain score.

The Sharks then sealed victory 10 minutes from time as former London Irish hooker Creevy powered over from a maul to secure the bonus point.

Ford added the conversion to make it a three-try game so it was always going to be too little, too late when Thomas ran in under the posts after a deflected kick fell kindly into the hands of team-mate Mark Atkinson.

Barton converted but there was no time for Gloucester to find a bonus point of their own, with back-to-back defeats leaving them under mounting pressure ahead of a derby with high-flying Bath next Friday.

The teams

Sale Sharks: 15 Sam James, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Rob du Preez (c), 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Arron Reed, 10 George Ford, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Bevan Rodd
Replacements: 16 Nathan Langdon, 17 Si McIntyre, 18 James Harper, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Nye Thomas, 22 Alex Wills, 23 Tom Ellis

Gloucester: 15 Jake Morris, 14 Jack Reeves, 13 Chris Harris (c), 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Alex Hearle, 10 George Barton, 9 Charlie Chapman, 8 Jack Clement, 7 Ben Donnell, 6 Albert Tuisue, 5 Arthur Clark, 4 Freddie Thomas, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Harry Taylor, 21 Micky Young, 22 Max Llewellyn, 23 Josh Hathaway

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Assistant Referees: George Selwood, Neil Chivers
TMO: Dean Richards

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