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Gloucester through to Championship Final Gloucester through to Championship Final

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Gloucester through to Championship Final

That means a West Country derby at Twickenham on June 8 with the Cherry-and-Whites facing local rivals Bristol, the Shoguns having defeated Northampton in the other semi-final on Saturday.

It was an excellent performance from Gloucester who had stressed just how seriously they were taking this competition in the build-up to the tie.

They out-scored Sale by three tries to one, but it was French fly-half Ludovic Mercier who was the most influential player on display, slotting 18 points – including a well-taken drop goal.

But it was the Gloucester pack who set up the victory, skipper Phil Vickery leading from the front to keep the home side on the back foot throughout the contest.

This superiority up-front gave Gloucester scrum-half Andy Gomarsall plenty of quality possession and the No.9 – the front-runner for the half-back berth on England’s upcoming tour of Argentina – was outstanding in his option-taking, deservedly wining the Man of the Match award.

"Next weekend is going to be huge," said Gomarsall when interviewed following the match.

"And we’ll be thinking about it on Monday – but we’ll savour a good peformance first.

"This is huge for the players, management and fans. It felt like a home game today and the forwards played superbly."

The scorers:

For the Sale Sharks:Try: CuetoPens: Hodgson (2)

For Gloucester:Tries: Beim, Gomarsall, SewabuCons: Mercier (3)Pens: Mercier (3)Drop-goal: Mercier

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