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Gloucester fightback earns draw with Sharks

18 Apr 2003
Gloucester fightback earns draw with Sharks

The Sharks held an 11-10 half-time lead thanks to two penalties from Jos Baxendell and a try from loose forward Pete Anglesea shortly before the break.

The visitors remained in the hunt in the first half through French fly-half Ludovic Mercier, who kicked a penalty and scored an intercept try off a stray Baxendell pass, which former Rugby League star Henry Paul converted after Mercier's 80-metre dash.

The home side got the second stanza off to a perfect start when former England wing Steve Hanley touched down after six minutes and Baxendell converted.

Worse was to follow for Gloucester when their captain Jake Boer was sin-binned in the 51st minute, allowing England star Jason Robinson – who was playing at fullback – to cross for a try just three minutes later. Baxendell missed the conversion, but with the home team ahead by 23-13 they would have been the happier team at that stage.

Boer's return from the sin bin levelled the playing field as the table-topping Gloucester side began clawing its way back through a penalty from Mercier, followed soon afterwards by a converted try by Terry Fanoula.

That saw the scores level at 23-23 before Sharks flyer Mark Cueto touched down for Baxendell to convert. At 30-23 the home team tried their level best to hold the 'Cherry and Whites' out, but a try from captain Boer, with Mercier holding his nerve to convert from the touchline, levelled the scores at 30-all.

Mercier missed two drop-goals attempts as he tried to steal a late win for his side, who have all but secured a place in the 2002/03 Zurich Premiership Final.

A win would have been ideal for the Kingsholm outfit, but one would expect them to earn some points against NEC Harlequins and Leicester Tigers (both home) and away to Leeds Tykes, to secure a place in the Final.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:Tries: Anglesea, Hanley, Robinson, CuetoCons: Baxendell 2Pens: Baxendell 2

For Gloucester:Tries: Mercier, Fanolua, BoerCons: Mercier 3Pens: Mercier 3

For more news, try out Sale Sharks v Gloucester Rugby

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing

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