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Sale smash Paul-boosted Gloucester

26 Mar 2004
Sale smash Paul-boosted Gloucester

Sale had wing Mark Cueto and replacement prop Stuart Turner sin-binned in minutes 60 and 62 respectively, whilst Turner, soon after his return was promptly red-carded by referee Chris White in the dying minutes of the match.

The visitors did quite a bit of their points-scoring in the final few minutes of the match, with 14 of their points coming in minutes 79 and 80, but it was certainly a case of too little, too late for them as Sale held a 31-6 lead before their two sin-binnings and Gloucester's points spree.

While Cueto, Sale's right-wing, had a bittersweet night – a try and a sin-binning – fellow wingman Steve Hanley weighed in with a hat-trick of tries, his first score, a long run-in, putting the home side ahead by 7-0 after just 10 minutes.

Cueto got his try in the 19th minute, also from some distance out, and Henry Paul finally put his side on the scoreboard with a penalty goal in the 22nd minute.

The score remained at 14-3 for some time until USA Eagles star Mike Hercus chipped a penalty over in the 36th minute and those wingmen, Cueto and Hanley, combined to put the latter over.

Hercus made no mistake again with the conversion and a half-time score of 24-3 would have pleased Sale coach Jim Mallinder.

Gloucester did chip away at the deficit after half-time with a Paul penalty goal, but Hercus got over after a clever pass from replacement prop Turner, whose night was to get decidedly worse later on, giving the home team a more than comfortable lead of 31-6.

The 'Cherry and Whites' failed to get on the scoreboard when Cueto and Turner were yellow-carded, but former Springbok hooker Delarey du Preez and lock Alex Brown got over for tries after Turner's second yellow card turned into an automatic red card.

Sale, however had the last laugh as Hanley completed his hat-trick and replacement fly-half Charlie Hodgson, in his first appearance after picking up a knee injury whilst on Heineken Cup duty in January, slotted the conversion for an emphatic win.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:Tries: Hanley 3, Cueto, HercusCons: Hercus 4, HodgsonPen: Hercus

For Gloucester:Tries: Du Preez, BrownCons: Paul 2Pens: Paul 2

For more news, try out Sale Sharks v Gloucester Rugby

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