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Gloucester

  • Trinder,
    Penalty goals: Burns (3),
    Conversions: Burns,
16 - 22

Sale

  • Cueto, Forsyth,
    Penalty goals: Macleod, Arscott (2),
    Drop goals: Ford,

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks get new season off to a winning start

Last updated: 7th September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks feels the force of a challenge from Rob Cook L of Gloucester

Sale's Tom Arscott tangles with Rob Cook of Gloucester

Andy Forsyth of Sale Sharks scores his sides second try despite the efforts of Henry Trinder of Gloucester

Andy Forsyth scores Sale Sharks' second try

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Sale Sharks put last season's struggles behind them with a 22-16 victory at Gloucester on the Aviva Premiership's opening weekend.

Tries from former England wing Mark Cueto and centre Andy Forsyth, plus penalties from fly-half Nick MacLeod and full-back Tom Arscott helped seal the Sharks' victory.

Replacement Joe Ford added a drop goal towards the end and the gap, opened up during the first period, proved too much for Gloucester to close despite three penalties from outside-half Freddie Burns and a second-half try from centre Henry Trinder.

Sale looked the more inventive from the off, causing problems down the wings and their kicking game, via scrum-half Dwayne Peel and MacLeod, had the home side on the back foot.

Within 13 minutes, Sale had put the bite on Gloucester as MacLeod landed a short-range penalty before the first of their tries, a movement which saw former England wing Cueto glide past the home defence on the right.

Referee Andrew Small called on the TV official to have a look at the lead-up in which Peel linked with MacLeod from halfway, with replays showing that the stand-off's pass to Cueto may have gone marginally forward.

The Sale back-row, lead by skipper Dan Braid, were particularly lively in the loose as the fumbling home side suffered first-day nerves.

Burns landed Gloucester's first points of the season with a 25-metre penalty but they were caught in a panic soon afterwards when a kick downfield saw ex-London Welsh wing Phil McKenzie, on his Sharks debut, force opposite number James Simpson-Daniel to take the ball over his own line and concede a scrum five.

Sin-bin

Two penalties from halfway by Arscott increased the Sale lead and Gloucester added to their own frustrations when prop Nick Wood was sent to the sin-bin shortly before half-time for diving illegally into a ruck.

After the break, Gloucester were struck by the second controversial TMO decision. This time, MacLeod laid-off a pass to Cueto which saw the winger nutmeg the ball through the legs of Simpson-Daniel for Forsyth to chase and dive over for the score.

But there were howls of derision from the Kingsholm faithful as they thought Forsyth was offside.

Again, Gloucester went down to 14 men when England centre Billy Twelvetrees was lucky to only receive a yellow card when twisting Cueto over in a tip-tackle.

But finally, on the hour, the Cherry and Whites converted an attack into points when Trinder found a gap in the half-back position and sprinted through from 25 metres under the posts to make Burns' conversion easy.

And when Burns booted a 27-metre penalty, the momentum had switched and Gloucester had found their feet. The fly-half added another seconds later from 35 metres which pulled his side back to within three points.

Yet Sale would not be denied and a drop goal from Joe Ford from 20 metres restored Sale's six-point lead and was enough to see them home and leave Gloucester with only a losing bonus point for their troubles.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st September
Aviva Premiership
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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