Within twenty minutes, three Burns penalties had put the home side nine points up, as the penalty count showed 5-1 against the visitors even that early. The Sharks' lone riposte was after six minutes when Will Addison made a burst but the move broke down when Kearnan Myall knocked on.
The penalties continued to be awarded against the boys in navy blue, with further opportunities afforded to Burns after 22 and 25 minutes. Burns's fifth strike came after Cueto had three opponents pinning him down but he was still penalised for not releasing.
On 33 minutes, referee Pearce denied the Sharks an obvious advantage and a likely try when Amesbury latched onto Peel's grubber kick ahead, only to be hauled back for a shoulder charge offence in the build up. The penalty was Sale's but it should have been at least five points.
Sharks had an attacking spell before the half time whistle, with Danny Cipriani's penalty on 38 minutes scant reward.
The Sharks' supporters' half time discussion centred around Amesbury's denied chance, the constant whistling from referee Pearce, and the hope that the visiting backs could realise the potential that was being negated by handling errors.
Amesbury led a spirited early second half attack in front of The Shed, part of an encouraging spell from the Sharks. Home number nine Jimmy Cowan provided relief for Nigel Davies's team with a clearance kick to the corner. Rob Miller and Sam Tuitupou led a reply, but sadly the move ended when Danny Cipriani passed to Tommy Taylor's feet and another knock on halted proceedings.
Sharks rang the changes, including the entire front row at once, but then struggled at the lineout. The pressure told after 63 minutes when Gloucester flanker Qera broke through for the game's opening try, which Burns converted.
Both Sharks half backs were changed after 64 minutes, but the red & white tide kept coming up the hill. On 69 minutes, the penalty count was an alarming 16-6 against the Sharks. Gloucester's lineout drive continued to force the issue, and the home eight were rewarded with a penalty try after 75 minutes, Burns adding the extras.
"Our basics from the set piece let us down right through the game," said Steve Diamond afterwards. "A good performance from Gloucester who played the territory well, but we had twenty one penalties against. I'm very disappointed."
Scoring: (Gloucester first) 3-0, 6-0, 9-0, 12-0, 15-0, 15-3 (Half Time) 22-3, 29-3.
Squad: 15.Rob Miller, 14.Charlie Amesbury, 13.Will Addison, 12.Sam Tuitupou, 11.Mark Cueto, 10.Danny Cipriani, 9.Dwayne Peel, 1.Ross Harrison, 2.Tommy Taylor, 3.Tony Buckley, 4.Fraser McKenzie, 5.Kearnan Myall, 6.Richie Vernon, 7.David Seymour (capt.), 8.Andy Powell
Replacements: 16.Joe Ward for Taylor (55), 17.Eifion Lewis-Roberts for Harrison (55), 18.Vadim Cobilas for Buckley (55), 19.Tom Holmes (not used), 20.James Gaskell for McKenzie (62), 21.Will Cliff for Peel (64), 22.Nick Macleod for Cipriani (64), 23.Cameron Shepherd for Addison (78)
Sale Sharks return to Salford City Stadium next Friday, 30th November, for a crucial Aviva Premiership match against Northampton Saints. Kick off is 7.45pm.
For tickets, ring 08444 994 994 or buy online.
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|
|Sale Sharks Score Card|