In the Gallagher Premiership’s Friday fixture, Sale Sharks overcame Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium to continue their impressive run of form going into the latter stages of the season. In wet and tricky conditions, the Sharks ran out 23-17 winners over Gloucester with tries from Luke James, Bryn Evans and Marland Yarde, accompanied by two penalties and a conversion from Rob du Preeze, proving the difference in the west country.
This win consolidates Sale’s position in second place of the Gallagher Premiership, and moves them to within four points of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the table, however the Chiefs can extend that lead if they take advantage of their game in hand this weekend.
This was a significant win for Sale, who are now genuine title contenders, looking for their first Premiership win since 2006.
Throughout the last decade, Sale serially disappointed, and this return of form will be welcomed in the North West. In a city where you have to compete with two huge football clubs, rugby league and a whole host of other sporting establishments, a strong Sale Sharks team is good for rugby in general.
Meanwhile, Sale’s upward form is almost a perfect opposite of Gloucester’s. Yesterday marked the cherries’ fourth consecutive league defeat, with their last win in the competition coming with a victory against bath 8 weeks ago.
However, for Gloucester the rugby was secondary, on a night where the focus centres around their new #BeKind campaign – launched in response to the death of Caroline Flack this month, the television presenter and ex-partner of Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani.
The Gloucester players wore Samaritans tops in to warm up, and during the match had #BeKind printed on the back of their shirts where surnames are usually printed whilst also wearing black armbands with the hashtag written on them.
The sport came financially, too: five pounds from every ticket was donated to the Gloucester & District branch of Samaritans.
By Will Sewell.