Sale Sharks 46-41 Gloucester Rugby, AJ Bell Stadium
Sale Sharks missed out on the chance to feature in the Champions Cup next season despite a 46-41 win over Gloucester Rugby in the final round of the Gallagher Premiership at AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
This is Sale Sharks' 11th win from 22 games as they managed 55 points - just one behind fourth-placed Northampton Saints - and have to settle for a seventh-place finish while Gloucester will face Saracens in the play-off.
It took Sale Sharks just two minutes to get their first points on the board with Faf de Klerk, AJ MacGinty and Ben Curry setting up Tom Curry over the line. MacGinty followed with the conversion as the home side raced to a seven point lead but Gloucester responded back with a touchdown from Tom Seabrook in the 8th minute to level the scores 7-7.
The momentum swung towards the hosts with back to back touchdowns from Rob Webber (16') and Sam James (19') but Ben Vellacott (24') and Matt Banahan (28') replied back as the scoreline became 19-21 by the half-hour mark.
As the half-time was approaching Chris Ashton and Lewis Ludlow traded tries as the teams went into the break with a 24-26 scoreline.
Sale got their fifth try of the night with Byron McGuigan dotting down early in the second half but Gloucester bounced back hard and seized the lead with tries from Dom Coetzer and Vellacott to make the scoreline 31-38. Lloyd Evans increased Gloucester's tally to 41 points but Sale seized the closing stage with back to back tries from MacGinty and Denny Solomona to complete a thrilling 46-41 win.
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?
At Talking Rugby Union, we aim to provide match reports and news together with our specially commissioned features and interviews.