Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 46-41 Gloucester Rugby
Sale Sharks edged out Gloucester 46-41 in a high-scoring game at the AJ Bell Stadium to finish up in seventh place in the Gallagher Premiership.
With an open feel befitting this final-day clash, Sale scored first-half tries through Tom Curry, Rob Webber, Sam James and Chris Ashton, but Gloucester led at the break with Tom Seabrook, Ben Vellacott, Matt Banahan and Lewis Ludlow sealing their bonus point.
In a lung-busting second half Byron McGuigan touched down for the hosts while Dom Coetzer and Vellacott struck back – still time though for AJ MacGinty and Denny Solomona to win it late on.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Faf de Klerk
Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk was one man who didn’t get onto the scoresheet at the AJ Bell but he certainly had a hand in many of the scores.
The livewire No.9 poked and prodded all afternoon and kept the pace high in an entertaining match.
TRY OF THE MATCH – Denny Solomona
No doubting the best try in this one, with Solomona’s winner one of the tries of the season.
With Sale trailing heading into the final ten minutes the hosts broke through midfield and de Klerk rounded one defender before switching inside, the ball eventually passed out wide to the wing to provide the acrobatic finish.
WHAT THEY SAID
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “I thought we were very poor in defence and we were good in attack. It was like a Super 15 game.
“We needed four tries and we had to play that way. By the way the other results have gone it’s irrelevant to us, we’re not in sixth anymore so we’ll probably miss out on the cup for Europe. That was not today’s performance, but it was in past games.”
Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann commented: “I just talked to the players and I salute them for the effort that they’ve put in. Obviously a few of those guys haven’t played for a few weeks.
“There was a new centre combination and a fair bit of change, and therefore it’s always a bit disruptive for your rhythm.
“I thought our back row was good today. Our locks worked hard and did good things. Matt Banahan in a different position was quite good.
“It gives us options now and a lot of the guys have put their hands up. All that’s left is to see who is 100 percent ready on Monday from an injury point of view and then make sure we get 23 guys who are ready to fire.”
BEST OF SOCIAL
🔥 Outrageous! 🔥
This Sale Sharks move is fantastic, Denny Solomona's finish in even better!
A late contender for try of the season. pic.twitter.com/Aw8t6fGnb8
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 18, 2019
— Sale Sharks🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) May 18, 2019
— Franco Mostert (@FrancoMostert) May 18, 2019