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Match Report: Sale Sharks 57 Gloucester Rugby 10

29 Sep 2017
Match Report: Sale Sharks 57 Gloucester Rugby 10

Byron McGuigan’s hat-trick paved the way for an emphatic Aviva Premiership Rugby display as Sale Sharks turned on the style against Gloucester Rugby.

McGuigan scored twice in the first half while completing his trio after the break, all after Denny Solomona scored the first of his two scores after just 55 seconds.

Francois de Klerk secured a bonus point early in the second period while James O’Connor and Sam James also got on the scoresheet in a night the AJ Bell Stadium fans won’t forget in a hurry.

Billy Burns dissected the posts with a penalty early on, though the Cherry & Whites were unable to add to the scoreboard until John Afoa’s try three minutes from time.

It took Solomona less than a minute to turn on the heat, chipping and chasing to dot down his side’s opening score of the night.

Things were to get better for Sharks soon after when de Klerk’s impressive work saw McGuigan go under the posts within the first quarter.

The same man was to get his second soon after, ensuring a strong first half for the home side when intercepting a Gloucester pass.

And the bonus-point was wrapped up not long after the interval, a bullet pass from O’Connor allowing de Klerk to get in on the act to dart down and crash under the posts.

This was one of the most impressive performances from Sale in Aviva Premiership Rugby, even before Solomona went under the sticks for his second of the evening.

O’Connor himself was the next to score, capping off a memorable debut to get his new side’s sixth of the night to extend the leading margin to 40 points.

This was despite Gloucester boasting more of the possession in the match, continuing to hammer on the Sale door only for the home side to impressively keep them out.

Indeed the next points were to come their way too, James this time the man to benefit from an intercept to score, with AJ MacGinty adding the extras.

And with seven minutes to go, McGuigan’s fully-deserved treble was completed with the 50-point mark already crossed.

There was still time for a late Cherry & Whites consolation however, as Afoa went under the posts in the closing stages.