19 points from the boot of Freddie Burns kills off Sharks
6:34pm Sunday 25th November 2012 in Sport
GLOUCESTER captain Jim Hamilton admitted his side were not at their fluent best but paid tribute to his pack of forwards as they beat Sale Sharks 29-3 in the Aviva Premiership, writes Charlie Talbot-Smith.
It was man-of-the-moment Freddie Burns who led the Cherry & Whites back to winning ways in the league.
The fly half, who was this week named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for October, kicked 19 points in the win, including five first-half penalties.
But second-half tries from Akapusi Qera and a penalty try were just reward for a dominant Gloucester pack, and Hamilton was quick to recognise that fact.
“It was a tough game, it certainly was not a classic,” he said.
“We knew it was going to be stuffy conditions and we had to grind it out, but we’ve got to be happy that we have taken the points away.
“We respect Sale and I think we showed that by the way we turned up and played today.
“We work extremely hard on our scrum and line-out. It is still a bit patchy at times but today our scrum was fantastic and that was probably the big difference in this game.
“We have got a tight squad on and off the field, that’s the culture that we have as a team and part of the culture that Nigel (Davies) has brought.
“It’s credit to us as a team that we can play that way as a team when conditions are like this.
Burns had Gloucester on the scoreboard after just five minutes as he slotted a penalty, and midway through the first half the 20-year-old had the hosts 9-0 ahead.
On the half-hour mark Burns had kicked Gloucester into a 15-0 lead before Sale finally replied, Danny Cipriani adding a 37th-minute penalty of his own.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors and after half-time Jimmy Cowan put Qera across, with Burns converting.
And as the game entered its final stages, Davies' troops were all over the Sharks and their dominance in the pack told in the end with a penalty try.
Gloucester have lost only once in their last seven games in the Premiership and have not lost at home since the opening day of the season.
And Hamilton has called on his team-mates to continue their impressive home record if they want to maintain realistic top-four ambitions.
“It needs to be a fortress; to be a good team you have to win all your home games,” he added.
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