Gloucester Rugby 17-23 Sale Sharks, Kingsholm
Sale Sharks managed to hold on to a fightback from Gloucester Rugby as they sealed a 17-23 win in the 12th round of the Gallagher Premiership clash at Kingsholm on Friday.
This is Sale Sharks' seventh win from 12 games as they consolidated the second place with 35 points while Gloucester slip to seventh place with 25 points.
With raining conditions prevailing at Kingsholm both the teams were struggling to get a hold off the game as both Robert du Preez and Billy Twelvetrees penalty kicks were coming off the posts. Eventually, du Preez kicked the first points in the game with a three-pointer in the 27th minute.
The visitors ended the first half with 10 unanswered points as Byron McGuigan set up Luke James over the line in the 35th minute and du Preez getting the conversion right.
Steve Diamond's men continued from where they left in the first half as Bryn Evans dotted down for an unconverted try in the 46th minute before Twelvetrees' penalty kick in the 50th minute got the Cherry and Whites off the mark.
Gloucester's comeback chances took a boost when Sale lost prop WillGriff John to sin-bin for an infringement at the breakdown in the 56th minute and two minutes later the home side made full use of the numerical advantage with Fraser Balmain dotting down, although Sale Sharks minimised the damage with Marland Yarde scoring in the 60th minute after a fumble from Cipriani to make the scoreline 10-20.
A converted try from Twelvetrees in the 64th minute kept Gloucester in the hunt as they reduced the arrears to three points but Sale Sharks showed enough resilience as a 73rd penalty kick from du Preez sealed a six point victory for the visitors.
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
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