Leicester Tigers U18s sealed third place in the U18 Premiership with a six try 41-12 victory over Bath U18 at Allianz Park on finals day.
Leicester finished second in the Northern Conference, while Bath were second in the Southern Conference at the league stage of this competition, hence their third place play off. They took to the field after Exeter had sealed fifth place with an 11-6 win over Gloucester, and were the final warm up act ahead of the U18 Premiership Final between Northampton Saints and Saracens.
In truth, as the scoreline suggests, it was a truly dominant display from Leicester, who played with a physicality and intensity that belied their years.
That physicality, and some ill discipline from Bath, yielded four first half tries for Tigers, incuding a brace for right wing Paulo Odogwu, as Tigers went into the break 27-0 up.
The scoring began as early as the tenth minute through England U18 international centre Charlie Thacker, who absolutely bulldozed his way over. Thacker was almost over for a second soon after but was pulled back for a forward pass, however Tigers were soon in again through loosehead Own Hills at the tail of a driving maul.
Full back Will Sutton then added a penalty to the conversion of Hillsâ€™ try to make it 15-0, before Odogwu began to get in on the act, first through a smart finish down the right hand touchline, the second through an interception in his own half as Bath began trying to force their hand a little.
Sutton converted the incept try from under the sticks to give Leicester an almost insurmountable 27-0 half time lead over the West Country side.
With a few wise words from Academy Director Danny Grewcock at half time, it would have been easy to assume that the pattern might slow in the second half, however Leicester came flying out of the traps, scoring a try after just three minutes through Sutton, who converted his own score, to take it to 34-0.
Ten minutes later they were through again, with blindside Zak Poole charging over on the left hand side, which with Suttonâ€™s conversion gave his team a 41-0 lead.
At this stage you really feared for Bath, with time on the clock the score could have got very large indeed. In many ways though, this last twenty minutes or so was going to be a hugely important time for their Bath careers, how would they respond to an unwinnable situation? Did they have the character?
The answer was an emphatic yes, as they came back to score two tries of their own, through Dan Frost and Sam Rees, and crucially keeping Leicester scoreless for the remainder of the game.
It was ragged and loose but it was committed and brave, and that would have been exactly what their coaches were looking for in that scenario.
Of course overall it was a day that was exactly what the Tigers coaches wanted, a display of excellent maturity and physicality, and a superb scoreline against what is a very talented Bath side.
Full Time: Leicester Tigers U18 41-12 Bath U18
Photos of the game can be seen on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby
Leicester â€“ Tries, Thacker, Hills, Odogwu x 2, Sutton, Poole; Cons, Sutton x 5; Pen, Sutton
Bath â€“ Tries, Frost, Rees; Con, Waters
O Will SuttonÂ N Sam YawayawÂ M Jordan OlowofelaÂ L Charlie ThackerÂ K Paulo OdogwuÂ J George Worth (c)Â I Ben White; A Owen HillsÂ B Luis EvittÂ C Dan HoganÂ D Charlie HarveyÂ E Alex GalletleyÂ F Zak PooleÂ G Stone Preistley-NangleÂ H Will Evans .
Replacements:Â P Jamie JackÂ Q Aubrey GrimesÂ R Joe GreenÂ S Toby HutchinsonÂ T Harry SimmonsÂ U Levi DavisÂ W Jake Duffield.
1. Will Vaughan Â 2. Dan Frost Â 3. Callum Carter Â 4. Bailey Ransom Â 5. Matt Solway Â 6. Josh Bayliss (c) Â 7. Sid Blackmore Â 8. Charlie Morris-Mean Â 9. Parimal Shrestha Â 10. Adam Hastings Â Â 11. Darren Atkins Â 12. Owen Waters Â 13. Dom Mackenzie Â 14. Sam Rees Â 15. Oli Graham.
Replacements: 16. Gabirel Oghre Â 17. Sam StarksÂ 18. Benji John Â 19. Charlie Smith Â 20. James Vecchio Â 21. Tom Dabell Â 22. Kieran Kelly Â 23. Henry Martin.