Match Centre: Gloucester Rugby 33-32 Sale Sharks

Ben Morgan scored the opening try for Gloucester
Ben Morgan scored the opening try for Gloucester

Gloucester Rugby 33-32 Sale Sharks, Kingsholm

Gloucester managed to hold off a late surge by Sale Sharks as they sealed a 33-32 win in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at Kingsholm on Saturday.

This is second win for Gloucester in four games as they are at fourth place with 11 points while Sale Sharks are at eighth position with nine points.

Gloucester dominated the early exchanges between the sides as a sustained pressure saw them earn a penalty goal which Adam Hastings kicked to perfection in the 8th minute.

The Cherry and Whites scored their first try in the 12th minute with Ben Morgan diving over at the back of a strong line out maul but Hastings missed out on the conversion. However, the fly-half ensured he did not miss the extras in the 17th minute Jack Singleton collected a crossfield kick from Ben Meehan to dot down making it 15-0.

The response from Sale Sharks finally came in the 32nd minute as Raffi Quirke dived just next to the posts and a conversion from Kieran Wilkinson made it 15-7 but his efforts was negated three minutes later as Louis Rees-Zammit crossed over after an offload from Harry Elrington making it 20-7.

At the stroke of half-time, Sale Sharks managed to reduce the arrears to 10 points, courtesy a penalty kick from Wilkinson.

Even though Hastings with a penalty goal early in the second restored 13-point lead for the home side, Sale Sharks capitalised on a mistake from Gloucester with Arron Reed diving over in the 49th minute making it 23-15.

Gloucester went on to claim the bonus point as Rees-Zammit completed his second in the 63rd minute while Hastings kicked a conversion and a drop goal making it 33-15 by the 72nd minute. Sale clawed their way back into the game with Daniel du Preez forcing his way over in the 75th minute and Tom Curtis followed with the conversion.

Gloucester were put under considerable pressure at the end as they lost Ruan Ackermann to yellow card and Gus Warr and Tommy Taylor both went over but Curtis missed the conversions on both the occasion to the disappointment of the visitors as they succumbed to a one point defeat.

Team line up:

Gloucester: Woodward, Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, May, Hastings, Meehan; Elrington, Singleton, Gotovtsev, Clarke, Davidson, Ackermann, Ludlow, Morgan.

Reserves: Moulds, Rapava-Ruskin, Ford-Robinson, Alemanno, Clement, Chapman, Twelvetrees. Moyle.

Sale: Hammersley, Solomona, S. James, L. James, Reed, Wilkinson, Quirke; Harrison, Langdon, Oosthuizen, JL. du Preez, JP. du Preez, Neild, Dugdale, D. du Preez.

Reserves: Taylor, McIntyre, Schonert, Wiese, Ross, Warr, Curtis, Roebuck.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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