Throwback Thursday: Sharples and Burns down the Saints at Kingsholm
Gloucester Rugby and Northampton Saints go head to head this weekend in the Premiership Rugby Cup at Kingsholm.
And the two rivals are more than familiar, having met once already in Gallagher Premiership Rugby season and playing out some memorable matches over the years.
For our Throwback Thursday this week, we head to February 2012 and a league clash in the West Country that went down to the death.
Looking to claim revenge for a narrow defeat on the opening day of the season to Saints, the Cherry & Whites meant business.
And they came storming out of the blocks in front of a vociferous home support and had the game’s first try when Charlie Sharples cut back and found space to sprint clear.
The rest of the half was a kicking battle between Freddie Burns for the hosts and Ryan Lamb for the visitors until Jonny May’s late intervention. The speedster cut inside to release Sharples who offloaded deftly to Darren Dawidiuk to force his way over.
The hooker had been narrowly denied a score earlier in the half so this was just reward for a fine Gloucester effort that gave them an 18-9 lead at the break.
But the Saints refused to go down without a fight and while Lamb did miss a couple of presentable opportunities from the tee, he was still keeping them in check.
And when Soane Tonga’uiha burst over at the back of a rolling maul and Stephen Myler converted – the Saints were back in touch at 21-19.
Burns stretched the lead with another penalty but when George Pisi then burst clear down the right the scores were level at 24-24.
Myler missed the extras however, and it was left to Burns to complete an impressive 17-point personal haul and down the Saints in style.