Cherry and Whites' welcome win
Sione brace lifts Gloucester
Gloucester 23 Sale 19
Friday, December 4, 2015 - 1945hrs

The Cherry and Whites have stuttered so far this season, whilst Sale have not won a league match away from home since beating London Welsh last February, hardly a recipe to savour for a Friday night entertainment.
Once again Gloucester were far from convincing but did manage to put in a performance for thirty minutes in the second half which was ultimately enough to win the game thanks to a shift in momentum prompted by the introduction of replacement scrum half Greig Laidlaw.
The hosts had Tongan number eight Sione Kalamafoni, selected ahead of England’s Ben Morgan to thank for a brace of tries within five minutes midway through the second half which effectively turned events in favour of the home side.
For once Gloucester got off to a decent start to make light of the blustery conditions with their first league try for a couple of months when the visitors failed to clear their lines from the start allowing them to go through the phases to work the overlap for full back Rob Cook to score wide out.
However Sale hit back when Danny Cipriani put in a perfectly judged chip for winger Nev Edwards to gather and cross unopposed. Cipriani converted and kicked a penalty as Bill Twelvetrees kick a couple for Gloucester to provide an 11-8 half time lead.
Sale had enjoyed plentiful possession and established territorial advantage but fortunately for Gloucester were quite unable to make it pay. However Cipriani did make them pay with a further penalty at the start of the second half and that was enough to make the nerves of the restless Kingsholm faithful start to jangle especially as hooker Richard Hibbard was sin-binned for pulling down a maul close to their line.
Gloucester huffed and puffed but their poor kicking game all too often handed possession back to their opponents before Sale got a second try for Edwards.
Thankfully at last Greig Laidlaw entered the fray and Gloucester began to play some better rugby as Kalamafoni scored to level the scores, crossing the line with a couple of defenders hanging on to him and before Sale could compose themselves and regroup, he struck again with his second try, again thanks to the TMO.
There was still time for Gloucester to concede another dumb penalty but they hung on before the impressive Ross Moriarty stole a line out to wrap things up.
The overall defence looked much improved but behind the scrum - - !
A welcome win but still some way short of how a talented team should be performing. Team selection is often a contentious issue, especially with an unsettled side but moulding players into a winning oufit is key to regular success, backed up by sound pragmatic tactics.
T.H. 5/12/2015


Pricey's Postscript
The objective last night was to win and that was, thankfully, achieved. Other positives included scoring tries, a reasonably sound line-out (the last line-out steal was the icing on the cake) and a reasonable scrum. Discipline was poor, however and it took too long for the penny to drop that Referee Doyle was going to police the break down.
Gloucester showed patience in the various build up attacks but all too many lacked any real intensity. When that intensity was added Gloucester looked good but I left Kingsholm with a feeling that they could do a lot better. A curate’s egg performance – good in parts.

J.G.P. 5/12/2015

More From Mike

A story of two halves, attrition in the first half, followed by a more passionate game in the second.

It seemed to take the throwing of a few punches and the introduction of Greig Laidlaw to spark the ignition button and turn what was going towards a stale draw, into a thrilling win for the Cherry & Whites. A much needed win,
it is now back to the European Arena, two wins in the next two weeks should seal the group. It will however take a much more disciplined performance and one with the passion of the last 20 minutes of Friday.
Mike

Gloucester
15 Rob Cook;
14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 BillyTwelvetrees (capt), 11 Jonny May;
10 James Hook, 9 Willi Heinz;
1 Paddy McAllister, 2 Richard Hibbard, 3 John Afoa;
4 Tom Savage, 5 Jeremy Thrush;
6 Ross Moriarty, 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements:

16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Jacob Rowan,
21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Henry Purdy

Tries: Cook, Kalamafoni (2)
Con: Laidlaw
Pen: Twelvetrees (2)

Half-Time: 11-8

Yellow Card - Richard Hibbard

Referee - J.P.Doyle

Attendance - 11,583

Gloucester Matches - Match Reports - 2001-2015

Gloucester Matches - Premiership - Kingsholm Record

Gloucester Matches -
Premiership - Kingsholm Attendances

Gloucester Matches - Premiership Record v Sale

Gloucester Matches - Match Reports v Sale