Kalamafoni double helps Gloucester edge Sale Sharks

Sione Kalamafoni shrugs off Danny Cipriani on his way to the tryline

Two tries from Sione Kalamafoni helped Gloucester to a 23-19 Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Friday evening.

Gloucester outscored Sale Sharks by three tries to two but only one try was converted by the Cherry and Whites while Danny Cipriani kicked three conversions which made for a tight contest.

The first half was fiercely contested, with a try for either side through Rob cook and Nev Edwards. Two penalties from Billy Twelvetrees and three points from Danny Cipriani gave the home side a 11-8 lead at half-time.

The second half was just as tight. A Kalamafoni brace for Gloucester and two points from Greig Laidlaw sealed the win for the home side.

Edwards scored his second for Sale and Cipriani kicked three points ensure Sale left with a bonus point.

Against a Sale outfit with a notoriously poor away record, it was the Cherry and Whites who opened the scoring in the first three minutes.

After a sustained period of phase building from kick off, the ball went through the hands and Cook went over in the corner to score the home sides first try in 180 minutes of rugby.

But, Sale were quick to hit back. An exquisite kick from Cipriani fooled the Gloucester defence. Edwards pounced on the ball and finished comfortably to level the scores.

The away side took the lead a few minutes later with a penalty from Cipriani following a high tackle from Billy Twelvetrees. A neat up and under from Jonny May caused havoc in the Sale defence.

They scrambled to keep the ball in the windy conditions but conceded a penalty for holding on, which was neatly slotted by Twelvetrees. The Gloucester captain added another three points a few minutes later with a 45-metre penalty in the blustery West Country conditions.

After the break, it was the Sharks who were the first to strike with three points from the boot of Cipriani to tie the scores up at 11-11.

Five minutes into the second half Gloucester’s Richard Hibbard was shown yellow for collapsing the maul. Steve Diamond’s men were quick to take advantage of the extra man with Edwards grabbing his second try of the match.

Despite their one-man deficit, Gloucester grabbed a try of their own through Kalamafoni.

The Tongan scored his second and Gloucester’s third try on the hour mark after 16 phases of play from the home side. Cipriani increased the pressure on Gloucester in the final ten minutes with a penalty to cut the gap to four points.

The victory is Gloucester’s third of the season and Sale Shark’s third loss for the season.

The result moves Gloucester up to sixth place in the Premiership from 10th and Sale Sharks remain in seventh place despite picking up a losing bonus point.

More to follow.

Final Score Gloucester 23 (11) Sale Sharks 19 (8)

Scorers

Gloucester
Tries – Cook, Kalamafoni 2
Pen – Twelvetrees 2
Con – Laidlaw
Drop –

Sale Sharks
Tries – Edwards 2
Pen – Cipriani 3
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :JP Doyle (100th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle and Paul Dix
TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Teams

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

Sale Sharks

15. Mike Haley, 14. Nev Edwards, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Tuitupou, 11. Will Addison 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Peter Stringer, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Vadim Cobilas, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Jonathan Mills, 6. Dan Braid (capt.), 7. TJ Ioane, 8. Josh Beaumont

Replacements: 16. Neil Briggs, 17. Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18. Brian Mujati, 19. Andrei Ostrikov, 20. David Seymour, 21. Chris Cusiter, 22. Joe Ford, 23. Mark Jennings.

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