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Ackermann scores as Gloucester sends Sharks into a slump

MATCH REPORT: Gloucester coach George Skivington was happy to end a ‘painful’ run of nine Premiership defeats with their bonus-point 32-20 win over Sale Sharks.

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The home side outscored Sale by four tries to two but their opponents did not help themselves with an error-ridden performance which gifted Gloucester a couple of scores.

Sale’s cause was also not helped by the loss of powerful South African forwards Dan du Preez and Cobus Wiese to injury in the first half and two yellow cards for Sam Dugdale and Joe Carpenter.

Gloucester’s tries came from Ollie Thorley, George McGuigan, Ruan Ackermann and Charlie Atkinson, with Santiago Carreras adding three conversions and two penalties.

“It feels good to win a Premiership game as the run has been very painful,” Skivington said.

“However I think we’ve fully earned the win as we have been very close and in the fight in the last three league games.

“We’ve worked hard on our ruck and maul since we had a reset seven weeks ago as we had previously got it wrong by thinking that those areas had been banked, which turned out not to be the case.

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“We gave away a lot of penalties in the last quarter and then Lewis Ludlow got a yellow card but fortunately we were able to ride the storm out.

“In a way I wish there was not a break [now] as I believe a few of our combinations are coming together nicely.”

Sale’s defeat was their fifth in succession in all competitions, with head coach Alex Sanderson accepting his share of the blame.

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“Our defence was poor in the first half, our set-piece was poor throughout and they feasted on a couple of opportunities we gave them.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on our defensive performance but we are shipping too many points lately.

“We have shifted our gameplan as we wanted to improve our attacking game but we’ve lost our way a bit.

“The effort was fantastic but we need to be better as coaches and I’ll take my share of the blame for that but we are still a better side than we showed today [Sunday].

“You are only as good as last game so you want to play again as soon as you can but realistically we need a break from playing.

“The lack of bonus points is a concern as we’ve won as many games as others but still find ourselves down the table.”

The scorers

For Gloucester
Tries: Thorley, McGuigan, Ackermann, Atkinson
Cons: Carreras 3
Pens: Carreras 2

For Sale Sharks
Tries: Warr, Taylor
Cons: R du Preez 2
Pens: R du Preez 2

Yellow cards: Sam Dugdale (Sale Sharks, 17), Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks, 57), Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester, 64)

Teams

Gloucester: 15 Santi Carreras, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Caolan Englefield, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Jamal Ford-Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Seb Blake, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Albert Tuisue, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Max Llewellyn, 23 Josh Hathaway.

Sale Sharks: 15 Joe Carpenter, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Arron Reed, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Josh Beaumont, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 James Harper, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Si McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Tumy Onasanya, 18 Asher Opoku-Fordjour, 19 Ben Bamber, 20 Rouban Birch, 21 Nye Thomas, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Rekeiti Ma’asi-White.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley, Greg Macdonald
TMO: Stuart Terheege

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