The U18 Academy Premiership regular season came to a close yesterday with the final round of games before finals day on Monday 15th February producing plenty of exciting rugby.
The top three from each division all go to Allianz Park for the finals day, with each side playing their counterpart from the other division, so 1st in the North plays 1st in the South, 2nd plays 2nd, and 3rd plays 3rd.
The top side in each division was known ahead of kick off over the weekend, Gloucester were to finish top in the North, while London Irish were to finish top in the South after both had had perfect season’s to date.
They wanted to keep that momentum up though ahead of the Championship clash at Allianz Park, and both did so superbly. London Irish beat a strong Saracens side 27-24, while Gloucester put in a stellar effort away at Northampton Saints to win 34-28.
Second and third places in each division still had everything to play for though.
In the South that defeat for Saracens opened the door for Exeter Chiefs, they did all that they could, beating a good Bath side 48-23. It leaves both Exeter and Saracens tied on 17 points, in third and fourth. Exeter have the superior points difference and try count and but finish fourth as Saracens beat Exeter in their head to head fixture, giving them the final place at finals day.
Saracens’ failure to get the victory over London Irish also seals Wasps’ fate as the second placed side in the Southern Conference. In the other game in the South Harlequins’ season needed on a rather sour note as winless Bristol mustered a superb performance to take a narrow 20-19 victory, a fitting reward for their efforts this season.
In the Northern Conference, Northampton Saints’ chances of a finals day appearance were blown by that defeat to Gloucester. They can, however, still influence who will be at Allianz Park as their postponed fixture against Sale Sharks still has to be played.
A 26-7 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie keeps Sale in the hunt for a top 3 place. Currently they sit fourth on 15 points, behind Worcester Warriors in 3rd on 18, and Leicester Tigers in 2nd on 20. A win over Saints in their rescheduled game would therefore but Sale into finals day, but a win for Saints would stop them.
Leicester Tigers are safely through to finals day after a superb 37-7 bonus point win over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday, but Worcester will be keeping a very close eye on that Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks game next week.
If you have any photos, reports, or videos from the weekend’s U18 Academy Premiership action, please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
U18 Academy Premiership Results:
London Irish 27-24 Saracens
Leicester Tigers 37-7 Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints 28-34 Gloucester
Bristol 20-19 Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs 48-23 Bath
Sale Sharks 26-7 Yorkshire Carnegie
15. Will Attfield: 14. Ollie Hassell-Collins; 13. Matt Williams; 12. Sam Evans; 11. Connor Hayhow; 10. Tom Parton; 9. Rory Brand; 1. Jarrod Leat; 2. Matt Kouris (Captain); 3. Austin Hay; 4. Harry Butler; 5. Jack Cooke; 6. Harry Norton; 7. Jack Ingall; 8. Isaac Curtis-Harris.
Replacements: 16. Freddie Boyce; 17. Callum Torpey; 18. Daniel Winning; 19. Josh Basham; 20. Angus Southon; 21. Dan Grant Adamson; 22. Roman Malin-Hiscock; 23. Dylan Moss; 24. Alex Gloster.
15 Will Kaye 14 Alex Gilham 13 Oli Morris 12 Nick Ramsey 11 Elliot Obatoyinbo 10 Tom Ffitch 9 Alex Glickstein 1 Taylor Reed 2 Harrison King 3 Seb Brownhill 4 Joel Kpoku 5 Zach Conley 6 Jack Nay 7 Sean Reffell 8 Ben Earl.
Replacements: 16 Billy Young 17 Andy Christie 18 James Gallagher 19 Sid Holland 20 Oscar Furneaux 21 James Elms 22 Jack Longhurst 23 Reuben Bird-Tullock.
Leicester Tigers – N/A
1 Jamie Blamire 2 Mike Newstead 3 Tristan Grant 4 Corry Wilkinsom 5 Josh Williams 6 Max Davies 7 Joe Towers 8 Connor Beswick 9 James Elliot 10 Charlie Wilson 11 Tom Briggs 12 Garry Izomor 13 Ben Stevenson 14 Adam Radwan 15 Ryan Foreman.
Replacements: 16 Rowan Hall-Beasley 17 Scott Merrin 18 Will Scott 19 Joe Johnson 20 Charlie Gowling 21 Fraser McNee 22 Tom Metcalf.
15 James Grayson 14 Jamel Hamilton 13 Freddie McKibbin 12 Fraser Strachan 11 Tosin Segun 10 Gregor Haldane 9 Harry Warn 1 Devante Onojaife 2 Alex Rayment 3 Ehren Painter 4 Jasper Dix (c) 5 Ben Kelland 6 Tom Brown 7 Matt Watson 8 Jake Carter.
Replacements: 16 Rob Marmion 17 George Cave 18 Rhys Charaambous 19 Alan Gregory 20 Sam Easton 21 Chris Yuill 22 Fraser Dingwall 23 Faysal Olabooye.
15 Dan Openshaw 14 Jack Evans 13 Mason Tonks 12 Tom Seabrook 11 Harry Robinson 10 Carwyn Penny 9 Charlie Chapman 1 Alex Seville 2 Will Haly 3 Ciaran Knight 4 Harry Wilson (c) 5 Seb Mummery 6 Ceri Silvester 7 Aaron Hinkley 8 Morgan Morris.
Replacements: 16 Mason Emery 17 Henry Walker 18 Harrison Fowke 19 Ed Bennion 20 Ben Coombes 21 Rhys Tudor 22 Harry Randall 23 Robbie Forbes.
Bristol – N/A
Forwards: George Head, Dylan Rogers, Callum Tilleray, Sam Gratton, Kareem Swandell, Paul Marshall, John Okafor, Henry Paremain, James Gulliver, Mike Gatehouse, Cameron Hyne, Dino Lamb-Cona and Ed Russell.
Backs: Tom Nicole, Niall Saunders, Marcus Smith, Sam Morley, Silas-Paul Johnson, Alex Hogg, Rory McMichael, Max Coyle, Cadan Murley and Gabriel Ibitoye.
Exeter Chiefs – N/A
1 Will Vaughan 2 Gabriel Oghre (c) 3 Jack Edmonson 4 Matt Solway 5 Rhys Davies 6 Dan Marek 7 Miles Reid 8 Roddy Denness 9 Cameron Brown 10 Will Flinn 11 Jonny Keh 12 Kieran Griffiths 13 Henry Martin 14 Dan Solway 15 Oli Graham.
Replacements: 16 Jack Hurley 17 Jamie Bettesworth 18 Joe Spiller 19 George Costard 20 Zak Smith 21 Caspar Bailey 22 Jack Utton 23 Tom Lewis.
15. Cameron Redpath, 14. Calum Owen, 13. Arron Reed, 12. Jack Beevers, 11. Ali Wealthall, 10. Alex Burrage, 9. Will Hodgson, 1. George Williams, 2. Ben Martin, 3. Monty Weatherby, 4. Charlie Pozniak, 5. George Bordill, 6. Luke James, 7. Ben Curry (c), 8. Sam Moore.
Replacements: 16. Ben Gregory, 17. Jamie Ross, 18. Scott Southwell, 19. Sam Dugdale, 20. George Chatterton, 21. Kieran Wilkinson, 22. Ben Watson, 23. Michael Forrest.
1. Charlie Capps 2. Luke Chadwick 3. Will Dennis 4. Shaun Crouch 5. Ben Longton 6. Ross Kirtland 7. Hugo Tasker 8. James Sanderson 9. Ollie Fox (c) 10. Tom Allott 11. George Bastow 12. Max Wright 13. Suva Ma’asi 14. Harry Boyd 15. James Pinder.
Replacements: 16. Jack Davis 17. Jack Wafer 18. Ben Carlile 19. Harry Newborn 20. Tom Williams 21. Harry Davey 22. Connor Field.