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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
  • 7th Sep 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Kingsholm
  • Att: 13,000

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
Friday 26th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale Sharks vs Leicester Tigers
15:00Newcastle Falcons vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps

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Phil Edwards

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