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Sale 23-9 Gloucester

Sale (6) 23
Tries: Chabal, Doherty Cons: McAlister, Thomas Pens: McAlister 2, Thomas

Gloucester (6) 9
Pen: Barkley 3


Lee Thomas breaks through the Gloucester defence
Lee Thomas breaks through the Gloucester defence at Edgeley Park

Sale maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they went top of the table with victory win over Gloucester.

A fiercely contested first half ended level at 6-6 with two penalties apiece from Luke McAlister and Olly Barkley.

But Sale, who have yet to concede a try this season, began to take control with a Sebastien Chabal try on 48 minutes.

Barkley kicked a third penalty for Gloucester, but Sale finished the stronger with a Lee Thomas penalty and David Doherty try sealing the win.

Sale's parsimonious defence has now gone 320 minutes of top flight action without conceding a try, a new Premiership record.

But Gloucester's star-studded backline failed to sparkle as the question marks over their title credentials continued to grow.

McAlister kicked Sale ahead after two minutes, and the home side were quickly into their stride as an attacking force with Charlie Hodgson's grubber kick exposing Lesley Vainikolo in defence.

Doherty went close to exploiting Vainikolo's mistake and missed out soon after as he just failed to take Rory Lamont's pass in his stride.

606: DEBATE
Gloucester drew level after 26 minutes through Barkley, and the two kickers added another penalty each before the break.

The second half was a more creative affair with Sale scrum-half Dwayne Peel, on as a replacement, showing his customary spark to set up the first try of the night for Chabal.

Lamont was sin-binned for a late challenge on Mike Tindall, but Sale kept their attacking momentum going with Thomas knocking over a penalty.

Barkley's third kick kept Gloucester in touch, but Sale cut loose to destroy their opponents down the flank with Doherty running in the score after splendid work from McAlister.


Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre:

"I'm very pleased with the performance. It was fantastic and we scored two great tries.

"To not concede a try again is fantastic and the players worked so hard for each other. I'm delighted.

"That's four wins out of four but we need to continue our run against London Irish next week."

Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan:

"I thought Charlie Hodgson's kicking was the main difference between the two sides.

"Sale had someone who could kick, and we didn't."


Sale: Lamont, M. Tait, McAlister, Thomas, Doherty, Hodgson, Wigglesworth, Faure, Bruno, Turner, Cox, Cockbain, Ormsby, Abraham, Chabal.
Replacements: Bell for Thomas (71), Cueto for Doherty (72), Peel for Wigglesworth (47), Roberts for Faure (67), Briggs for Bruno (63), Schofield for Cockbain (51), White for Abraham (70).

Sin Bin: Lamont (52).

Gloucester: Balshaw, Simpson-Daniel, Watkins, Barkley, Vainikolo, Lamb, R. Lawson, Dickinson, Azam, Young, Bortolami, Brown, Buxton, Hazell, Narraway.
Replacements: Tindall for Simpson-Daniel (52), Cooper for R. Lawson (49), Titterrell for Azam (67), Wood for Young (49), Strokosch for Brown (15), Walker for Tindall (71).

Not Used: Satala.

Att: 9,019

Ref: Andrew Small (RFU).




see also
Bristol 6-9 Sale
19 Sep 08 |  English
Gloucester 24-20 Harlequins
20 Sep 08 |  English


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