The Aviva Premiership Under 18 League got underway this weekend and provided us with some cracking games, showing the depth of talent that is available at schoolboy level.
The game of the weekend was undoubtedly London Irish versus Bristol a game that ended 42-38 to Irish. It was far from the only exciting and high scoring encounter though, with Newcastle Falcons versus Worcester Warriors also an exciting game.
The Falcons won 23-20 but the story really was the Warriors fight back from being 14-0 down after just 20 minutes, showing resilience that will be useful in the next round against Leicester.
Leicester themselves showed that they are a strong side no matter what age group they are playing at, they swept past a Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School dominated Leeds Carnegie side, 30-9.
Tigers were not the only side to win big though as Saracens blitzed past Harlequins by 56-7. Saracens fielded six England Under 18 internationals and it showed as they played with a power and intensity that any side would find difficult to compete with.
For Harlequins though there will be more chances, this was the first time they had played together and with the amount of talent in their squad they are likely to see a quick turnaround in their fortunes.
Bath too suffered a tough defeat as Exeter Chiefs beat them 6-22 at home. Millfield, Bryanston and Sherborne dominated the Bath side while AASE players dominated the Exeter side, which probably explains their advantage at this early stage of the competition.
Expect Bath to come through strongly though, the talent in their side will ensure that there will not be too many defeats for them in this new competition.
The opening game of the weekend though was the morning kick off at Hartpury College between Gloucester and Northampton. It was a tough trip for the Saints, many of whom chose to travel early in the morning on game day, not ideal preparation.
Gloucester took advantage with a well-controlled performance to win 10-8 in an incredibly intense game.
It feels as though the opening weekend of the competition was a success, and it is certainly an innovation that many were keen to see succeed. Letâ€™s hope next weekend is as exciting as this was!
Gloucester 10-8 Northampton
Leicester 30-9 Leeds
Bath 6-22 Exeter
Newcastle 23-20 Worcester
London Irish 42-38 Bristol
Saracens 56-7 Harlequins
Gloucester: 1. Will Goodrick-Clarke (Cheltenham College), 2. Ryan Charles (Hartpury College), 3. Jack Spencer (Hartpury College), 4. Jonny Hill (Hartpury College), 5. Simon Linsell (Marling School), 6. Tom Lushington (Cheltenham College), 7. Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s), 8. Lewis Ludlow (Hartpury College), 9. Reece Boughton (Hartpury College), 10. Joe Carolan (Sir Thomas Rich’s), 11. Jack Lawthom (Hartpury College), 12. Harry Priestner (Rendcomb College), 13. Mark Harrison (Hartpury College), 14. Ollie Thorley (Cheltenham College), 15. Will Hayward (Hartpury College)
16. Kieran Routledge (Abingdon School), 17. Alec Clarey (Hartpury College), 18. Syd Haskayne (Cheltenham Tigers), 19. Nial Gibbons (Hartpury College), 20. Will Safe (Hartpury College), 21. Ollie Young (Sir Thomas Rich’s), 22. Julian Osbourne (Wycliffe College), 23. Robson Skipsey (St Peters High School), 24. Tom Griffiths (Hartpury College).
Northampton: 15 Tristan Rawcliffe, 14 Howard Packman, 13 Tom Stephenson,â€¨12 Lewis Jones,â€¨11 George Wacokecoke (St Josephâ€™s),â€¨10 Sam Olver (Oundle),â€¨9 Lewis Hall, 1 Danny Hobbs,â€¨2 Reece Marshall (Moulton) capt,â€¨3 Harry Morley,â€¨4 Jordan Onojaife (Stowe),â€¨5 Harry Betts (Oakham),â€¨6 Steve Arroyo-Hover, 7 Sam Harry,â€¨8 Jack Allcock.
16 James Fish,â€¨17 Simon Uzokwe (Ipswich),â€¨18 Lewis Ludlum (St Jospehâ€™s),â€¨19 Jaime Manly,â€¨20 Dan Lewis,â€¨21 Charlie Esam (Bedford),â€¨22 Nico Defeo.
Leicester: O Brendon Mandivenga , N Rhys Williams, M Perry Humphreys, L Charlie Thacker, K Hershall Ward, J Oliver Bryant, I George Prince, A Neale Farthing, B Harry Thacker, C James Thraves (c), D Charlie Beckett, E Matthew Hubbart, F Jake Farnworth, H Oliver Povoas, G Ed Milne
P George Nairn,â€¨Q Dan Hogan,â€¨S Joe Maksymiw,â€¨T Josh Bevan-Brown,â€¨U Will Andrews,â€¨V David Williams,â€¨W John Hargreaves,â€¨X Tiziano Pasquali
Leeds: 1. Lewis Boyce – Prince Henry’s Grammar School (PHGS)â€¨2. Jack Walker – PHGSâ€¨3. Paul Hill – PHGSâ€¨4. Dan Preston-Routledge – PHGSâ€¨5. Declan Dunn – PHGSâ€¨6. Josh Burridge – PHGSâ€¨7. Jack Barnard (c) – PHGSâ€¨8. Dan Grange – PHGSâ€¨9. Sam Gaudie – PHGSâ€¨10. Max Green – PHGSâ€¨11. Rob Rekis – PHGSâ€¨12. Josh Walters – PHGSâ€¨13. Jack McPhillips – PHGSâ€¨14. Cam Leadley – PHGSâ€¨15. Nick Rawsthorne – PHGS
16. Toko Tedoradze – PHGSâ€¨17. Isaac Cracknell – Crossley Heathâ€¨18. Jake Armstrong – Leeds Met.â€¨19. Tom Burridge – PHGSâ€¨20. Brodie Wilson – Crossley Heathâ€¨21. Sam Allen – Crossley Heathâ€¨22. Dan Tai â€“ PHGS
Bath: 1. Barron â€“ Millfield, 2. Haines – Millfield, 3. Jamieson, 4. Oldaker, 5. Ellis – Millfield, 6. Tait – Millfield, 7. Woolstencroft – Bryanston, 8. Ewels – Bryanston, 9. Turner – Millfield, 10. Jennings – Bryanston, 11. Galloway – Sherborne, 12. Beer, 13. Coulson – Sherborne, 14. McConnell – Millfield, 15. Keay.
16. Lynch, 17. Palmer, 18. Buckney, 19. Tunbridge, 20. Catlin â€“ Millfield, 21. Herrod-Taylor, 22. King (Callum).
Exeter: Richard Bayliss, Max Bodilly, Matt Bolwell, Luke Chapman, Rory Christopher, Sam Denham, Tom Edwards, Marcus Garratt, Tyler Gendall, Ben Hawley, Tom Hendrickson, Charlie Hewitt, Tom Holdsworth, Jack Innard, Kai Little, Todd Lowry, Laurence May, Josh Molloy, Jack Oulton, Todd Prisk, Dan Pullinger, Mike Roach, Sam Simmonds, Jay Tayacke, Stu Townsend, Ben Vellacot, Ned Warne, Lochryn Williams
Newcastle: 1 Aston Whitlow (Gosforth Academy), 2 David Nelson (Durham School),â€¨3 Jake Taylor (St Peters York),â€¨4 Glen Young (Jed Forest RFC),â€¨5 Harry Snowdon (Gosforth Academy),â€¨6 Ollie Hodgson (Gosforth Academy),â€¨7 Stuart Cannon (Gosforth Academy),â€¨8 Nick Cairns (Prudhoe High School),â€¨9 George Jirka Lacina (Dame Allans School),â€¨10 Craig Willis (Durham School),â€¨11 Zach Kibirige (Yarm School),â€¨12 Eldon Myers (Hartlepool 6th Form College),â€¨13 Matthew Douglas (Gosforth Academy),â€¨14 Sean Brown (Mowden Park RFC),â€¨15 Tom Penny (RGS Newcastle).
16 Dan Elkington (Sedbergh School),â€¨17 Ben Wilkinson (Gosforth Academy),â€¨18 James Addyman (Carlisle RFC),â€¨19 George Hedgley (Giggleswick School),â€¨20 Callum Chick (Ponteland High School),â€¨21 Ollie Warner (Gosforth Academy),â€¨22 Connor Tubman (Gosforth Academy),â€¨23 Jack Blakeney-Edwards (Durham School).
Worcester: 15 Hughes (RGS Worcester), 14. Serafini (Kingâ€™s Worcester), 13. Hope (Worcester 6th Form College), 12. Young (Bromsgrove), 11. Dickinson (Ellesmere College), 10. White (Tarporley High), 9. Pratley (Worcester 6th Form College); 1. Wrafter (Worcester 6th Form College), 2. Gunther (Worcester 6th Form College), 3. Harris (Worcester 6th Form College), 4. Elt (Kingâ€™s Worcester), 5. Makepiece (Worcester 6th Form College), 6. Jeavons-Fellows (Kingâ€™s Worcester), 7. Boyce (Kingâ€™s Worcester), 8. Chaudron captain (Ellesmere College).Â
16. Johns (Kingâ€™s Worcester), 17. Page (Malvern), 18. Hodnett (Shrewsbury), 19. Taylor (Old Swinford Hosptial), 20. Kinney (Ellesmere College), 21. Parker (Ellesmere College), 22. Hughes (Lawrence Sheriff).
London Irish: 1.George Sewell â€¨2. Ollie Adams (St Paulâ€™s Catholic College) â€¨3. Ryan Wilkie â€¨4. Theo Vukasinovic (Reeds)â€¨5. Ryan Bifield â€¨6. Lorcan Dow â€¨7. Max Berry â€¨8. Tom McDonald; 9. Connor Murphy â€¨10. Ollie Adams â€¨11. Jordan Gott â€¨12. Sean O’Hagan â€¨13. Tom Fowlie (St Paulâ€™s Catholic College) â€¨14. Cameron Cowell â€¨15. Jake Whitby.
16. Joel Armitage â€¨17. Jerome Trail â€¨18. Max Hayes â€¨(Wellington College) 19. Buchan Richardson â€¨(Wellington College) Â â€¨20. George Fulton â€¨21. Ed Hoadley â€¨22. Charlie Wicks â€¨(Wellington College) â€¨23. Brett Heron â€¨(Wellington College).
Bristol: Julian Mogg (Filton College); Auguy Slowik (Filton College), Nick Carpenter (Filton College), Lucas Slowik (Filton College), Adam Lambert; Jack Hughes (Filton College), Alex Haines; Kieran Harris (Filton College), Ben Gompels, Jason Puddy (Filton College), Henry Ivall (Filton College), Ben Charlton-Hibbert (Filton College), Ellis Genge, Callum Wallis (Filton College), Monty Reed (Filton College) (c).
Ryan Roach (Filton College), Luke Panting (Filton College), Jake Polledri (Filton College), Alex Colborne, Andy Uren (Filton College), Chay Smith (Filton College), James Floyd (Filton College).
Saracens: 15. Nathan Earle (Oaklands) 14.Tom Gannon 13. Nick Tompkins captain (Oaklands) 12.Elliot Reeder 11. George Perkins 10. Josh Sharp (Oaklands) 9. Ben Calder 8. Charlie Kingham 7. Matt Eliet (Tonbridge) 6. James Thacker 5. Ben Patterson 4. Maro Itoje (Harrow) 3. Jeremy Reason (Dulwich) 2. Sam James (Bishopâ€™s Stortford High School) 1. Tom Webb
16. Josh Taylor 17. Sam Kenny 18. Charles Woollard 19. Henry Wheadon 20. Alex Brown 21. Jack Maplesden 22. Tom Guest 23. Mark Lawrence
Harlequins: 1. Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College)â€¨2. Charlie Piper (Cranleigh)â€¨3. Jack Robinson (Epsom College)â€¨4. Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher)â€¨5. Finlay Hillicks (Collyers College)â€¨6. Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift)â€¨7. James Wilcock (Seaford College)â€¨8. James Chisholm (Brighton College)â€¨9. Henry Taylor (Harlequins full time academy)â€¨10. George Jones (Whitgift)â€¨11. James Francis (Epsom College)â€¨12. George Taylor (Whitgift)â€¨13. George Smith (Whitgift)â€¨14. Brandon Bellamin (Whitgift)â€¨15. Ben Woollams (Epsom College)Â
16. Joshua Ibuanokpe (Dulwich College)â€¨17. Pip Dickinson (Ex Pangbourne College)â€¨18. Blankâ€¨19. Dom Mcgeekie (John Fisher)â€¨20. Sam Arnold (Cranleigh)â€¨21. Harry Forrest (Brighton College)â€¨22. Tom Mclean (Wellington College)â€¨23. Tom Whiteley (Millfield School)