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Final round of the U18 Premiership produces thrillers but it’s all about Tuesday night

The final round of the U18 Aviva Premiership took place this weekend ahead of the finals day at Allianz Park a week on Monday.

The big draw of the day was the top of the table clash in the Northern Conference between Northampton Saints and Gloucester. Unfortunately, as it has done across the country at various levels of rugby, the weather threw a spanner in the works of that particular game, forcing it to be postponed until tomorrow evening at Daventry RFC.

That postponement means that Leicester Tigers U18s now sit at the top of the Northern Conference following their 43-5 bonus point victory over Newcastle Falcons, a result that confirmed Newcastle Falcons position at the foot of the table below Worcester.

Tigers now lead Saints by three point and Gloucester by four, meaning that there is still a small chance that they could play in the Championship game at Allianz Park against the Southern Conference winners, Exeter Chiefs, if Saints and Gloucester were to draw.

Exeter Chiefs will still have another game to play before that Championship final though as their match against London Irish was the only other game to fall foul of the weather this weekend.

One game that was under no threat of being called off was Bath v London Wasps. Bath hosted the game on the artificial surface at Filton College and they used the good ground well to work for a 19-10 victory over their West London opposition, condemning Wasps to the foot of the table, and taking themselves to third in the Conference behind Harlequins and the pace-setters Exeter.

Harlequins have played well to finish in second place, however they will be disappointed not to have finished with more than nineteen points after they were well beaten by Saracens on Sunday, 45-13, at the Stoop following the Harlequins v London Wasps Aviva Premiership game.

That was the final game of a weekend that was bookended by matches played in front of a Premiership crowd, Sale Sharks kicked things off on Friday evening, falling 26-5 to Leeds Carnegie in a curtain raiser ahead of the Sale v Gloucester Aviva Premiership match.

The happy, if unexpected, result of the weather enforced delay to the Northampton Saints v Gloucester showdown though is that the eyes of the entire fan base of U18 rugby will be on their game tomorrow evening, there are no other fixtures to distract.

Deciding on a favourite is a tricky business, Gloucester are the only side in the North with an unbeaten record, Exeter in the South are also unbeaten, and are also the only side to have ever beaten the mighty Leicester Tigers in this competition.

However Northampton Saints have racked up six bonus points in their five matches, collecting a try bonus point ever single time they cross the whitewash. That ability to score tries, which is in contrast to Gloucester who have just one bonus point, might just make the difference.

What that particular stat tells you about Gloucester though is that their defence is very, very good – this should be a fantastic match up.

Who do you think will win in the Northampton Saints v Gloucester showdown tomorrow evening? Let us know via the comment box below or via @FifteenRugbyXV

Results:

Sale Sharks 5-26 Leeds Carnegie

Leicester Tigers 43-5 Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints P-P Gloucester (Daventry RFC,
Tuesday 11th,
Kick off 7pm)

Exeter Chiefs P-P London Irish

Bath 19-10 London Wasps

Harlequins 13-45 Saracens

The National Academy League Finals Day is on Monday, February 17th, at Allianz Park.

Tables:

U18 Premiership Northern Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Points

1

Leicester Tigers

6

5

0

1

5

25

2

Northampton Saints

5

4

0

1

6

22

3

Gloucester

5

5

0

0

1

21

4

Leeds Carnegie

6

3

0

3

4

16

5

Sale Sharks

6

1

1

4

1

7

6

Worcester Warriors

6

1

1

4

0

6

7

Newcastle Falcons

6

0

0

5

3

3

U18 Premiership Southern Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Points

1

Exeter Chiefs

5

5

0

0

4

24

2

Harlequins

6

4

0

2

3

19

3

Bath

6

3

1

2

3

17

4

Saracens

6

3

0

3

4

16

5

London Irish

5

2

1

2

4

14

6

Bristol

6

1

0

5

4

8

7

London Wasps

6

1

0

5

2

6

Northampton Saints XV to play Gloucester:

15 Howard Packman
14 Austin Beckett
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Harry Mallinder (capt)
11 Tristan Rawcliffe
10 Harry Sheppard
9 Cameron Lee-Everton;
1 James Fish
2 Owen Griffiths
3 Luc Jeannot
4 Jordan Onojaife
5 Josh Peters
6 George Cox
7 Will Allman
8 Lewis Ludlam.

Replacements: 16 David Golding
17 Harrison Marshall
18
TBA 19 Karl Wilkins
20 Olli Lyons
21 Mike Morris
22 George Furbank
23 Nico Defeo.

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