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Cherry and Whites secure bonus point win in nail-biting contest

Report by Alex Bray

The first quarter belonged entirely to the Cherry and Whites, building pressure in the Sale 22 before scoring two fantastic tries. The first coming from the power of the Gloucester Rugby pack putting Ben Morgan in with a strong lineout maul. The second was scored after a moment of brilliance from Ben Meehan, kicking cross field for Jack Singleton to collect on the bounce and score.

Sale came back stronger in the second part of the half, although were inaccurate against an organised Gloucester Rugby defence.

An opportunity almost came for Jonny May who launched one of his trademark weaving attacks, but unfortunately the ball was turned over and Sale were able to launch their own, resulting in a try next to the posts from Raffi Quirke.

However, Gloucester Rugby bounced back quickly with a dominating maul in the opposition 22, resulting in a fine finish from the returning Lion, Louis Rees-Zammit benefiting from a lovely offload from prop Harry Elrington.

Sale were able to keep the score within 10 at the break with a penalty kick from Kieran Wilkinson and therefore keeping the pressure on Gloucester Rugby.

The second half began in a similar way to the first, with bulldozing runs from the Cherry and White forwards, building sustained pressure in the Sale red zone. Ending in Adam Hastings slotting a penalty kick to reward them for their efforts.

Although, it wasn’t all clinical for Gloucester Rugby and a lapse in concentration from a box kick led to a try from the Sale Winger, Arron Read. This was followed by a serious test of Gloucester Rugby’s defence as the visitors looked sharper than the first half.

Changes were brought to both teams at the 60 min mark, but one thing that didn’t change was the Gloucester Rugby forward power, with a good scrum and then a line out steal on the Sale 10m line. This pressure allowed Louis Rees-Zammit to score his second and the team’s fourth and therefore a crucial bonus point.

This fired Gloucester Rugby up again and the opportunities kept coming, most notably a fantastic charge down from Matias Alemanno coming agonisingly close to scoring a fifth. Adam Hastings finished this charge off with a skilful drop goal to keep the pressure, 33-15.

The game wasn’t quite done and between Sale being able to score twice in quick succession and Ruan Ackermann's yellow card, this allowed Sale to get within a point and all rested on the final conversion of the game.

This was, rather fortunately missed, and Gloucester Rugby had their first home win of the season, beating Sale 33-32.

Key Moment- Rees Zammit scoring his second try

Just as things were beginning to look a little tense for the home team, Louis Rees Zammit received a stunner of a pass from Mark Atkinson to chip and collect to score his second try and ensure the teams bonus point.

Whats Next – Gloucester Rugby are back on the road next Sunday, paying a visit to the Brentford Community Stadium to play London Irish.

George Skivington's reaction

Mark Atkinson's reaction

Match statsTeam lineups
Gloucester Rugby
79' R. Ackermann
72' A. Hastings
65' A. Hastings
64' L. Rees-Zammit
47' A. Hastings
35' L. Rees-Zammit
19' A. Hastings
19' J. Singleton
13' B. Morgan
8' A. Hastings
Sale Sharks
80' T. Taylor
79' G. Warr
76' T. Curtis
76' D. du Preez
51' A. Reed
40' K. Wilkinson
33' K. Wilkinson
32' R. Quirke