We round up Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership action, which saw Sale Sharks victorious at London Irish and Harlequins come out on top in a feisty encounter with Gloucester at Kingsholm…
London Irish 13-21 Sale Sharks
Sale’s South Africa connection played a key role as the Sharks got their Gallagher Premiership campaign back on track with a victory over London Irish.
In the first rugby match to be played in front of a crowd at Irish’s Brentford Community Stadium, tries from Rohan Janse Van Rensburg and Akker Van Der Merwe ultimately ensured the fans went home disappointed.
— Sale Sharks 🦈 (@SaleSharksRugby) December 6, 2020
Having failed to see the game out at Newcastle Falcons last week, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond will have been pleased with how his side squeezed the life out of their opponents in the second half.
They may have felt they needed to win this match twice, though, after Curtis Rona had rounded off an excellent move to bring the hosts level at 13-13 at half-time.
Fly-half AJ MacGinty kept the scoreboard ticking over for Sale as well, converting Van Rensburg’s try and kicking three penalties.
The rest of the Exiles’ points came from the boot of Paddy Jackson, who was on hand to convert Rona’s score and add two first-half penalties.
Gloucester 24-34 Harlequins
Harlequins overcame Andre Esterhuizen’s dismissal in the 45th minute to record a superb win over Gloucester in a pulsating game at Kingsholm.
The South African was shown red for an elbow to the face but it did not stop Quins’ momentum as they ran out convincing winners over an injury-ravaged Gloucester.
👊 "To deal with the adversity and the resilience we needed to come through when we were down to 13 men was outstanding."
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) December 6, 2020
The game erupted in the 19th minute when almost all the players were involved in a prolonged dust-up and after the referee had restored order, yellow cards were shown to both loose-head props, Jamal Ford-Robinson and Santiago Garcia Botta.
It got worse for Quins two minutes after Esterhuizen’s red card when lock Glen Young was sin-binned for collapsing a driving maul, but this was somewhat offset by Gloucester’s already disrupted back division losing fly-half Lloyd Evans to injury.
As for the scoring, Alex Dombrandt crossed for two tries for Harlequins, and James Chisholm and Nathan Earle got their others, with Marcus Smith converting all four and adding a penalty and a drop goal.
James Hanson scored two tries for Gloucester and Ed Slater also crossed, with Billy Twelvetrees kicking a penalty and a conversion. Jacob Morris added two conversions.