Premiership: Sale Sharks 13-26 Gloucester

Greig Laidlaw plays the ball for Gloucester
Greig Laidlaw is Gloucester's top points scorer this season with 40 points from three games
Premiership
Sale Sharks (8) 13
Tries: James, Neild Pens: Addison
Gloucester (17) 26
Tries: Afoa, Sharples Cons: Laidlaw 2 Pens: Laidlaw 4

Greig Laidlaw kicked 16 points to help Gloucester overcome Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium for their first win of the Premiership season.

Tries from John Afoa and Charlie Sharples, as well as seven points from the boot of Laidlaw, put Gloucester 17-8 up at the break.

Sam James grabbed a try and Will Addison teed a penalty in response.

Cameron Neild's second-half try gave Sale hope before Laidlaw sealed victory with three penalties.

Victory for Gloucester is their second on the road against Sale in as many seasons, with the Cherry and Whites the only side in the Premiership to triumph at the AJ Bell in the past 17 months.

A fine supporting run from tight-head prop Afoa following a Billy Burns break gave the visitors the ideal start.

While James was quick to respond, Dan Mugford who would struggle with an injury throughout the match, missed the extras.

Addison took over kicking duties for Sale, landing his first points from the tee in the Premiership in between a Laidlaw penalty and Sharples try just before the break.

Sale piled the pressure on after the interval, with Gloucester's resistance eventually yielding under the power of a rolling maul as Neild touched down.

Laidlaw, however, punished poor discipline from the hosts to land three more penalties and condemn them to a second defeat from three games this season.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond: "We were second best by a country mile tonight, we just couldn't get any control - when we got control of field position our basic skill let us down.

"We lost (Dan) Mugford in the second half and we've got a nine playing 10 so that confused the issue a little bit, but I thought we were playing quite well there.

"The most disappointing thing in the second half was that when we got to within four points, we gave those soft penalties away."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys: "I was delighted to come somewhere as tough as this and get a win.

"People forget we've 12 players unavailable - we talk a lot about the depth of the squad, we know the depth of the squad is going to be tested across the course of the season.

"Tonight the players that came up did a fantastic job, and came away with what is, obviously in this competition, a hugely important win - especially in light of the last two weeks."

Sale Sharks: McGuigan; Addison, James, Leota, Odogwu; Mugford, Phillips; Lewis-Roberts, Briggs, Aulika, Evans, Mills, Neild, Seymour, Beaumont (capt).

Replacements: Harrison, Longbottom, Ostrikov, Lund, Pearce, Stringer, Edwards, Bedlow.

Gloucester: Marshall; Sharples, Scott, Atkinson, Purdy; Burns, Laidlaw (capt); Thomas, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Latta, Ludlow, Kvesic, Morgan.

Replacements: Dawidiuk, Orr, Doran-Jones, Evans, Rowan, Heinz, Hook, Twelvetrees.

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