U18 Academy Finals: Dominant Worcester blast away Exeter Chiefs to claim 5th


Worcester Warriors U18 sealed fifth place in the U18 Academy Competition, secured a dominant 44-19 victory over Exeter Chiefs.


A stunning eight try haul helped them towards victory, including five in the first half from the Worcester Academy stars.


It all started after just two minutes through captain Tom Ford of Bromsgrove School. His try put the men in blue 5-0 up, they just missed out on the extras though as Warwick old boy Jamie Shillcock, who was on the bench for England U20 on Friday, just pushed it wide.


Exeter hit back soon after through blindside Sam Daly, who arrived on a near unstoppable line, with Harvey Skinner converting to give Exeter the lead for the only time in the game.


What followed from Worcester was brutal though, four tries across the rest of the half, though Tom Dodd, Stan Mayne, and a brace from Max Craven, who was, perhaps, the outstanding player on the field in the first half, running some truly brilliant lines and showing superb agility and timing.


Those scores gave Worcester a huge 27-7 half time lead, it could easily have been more had a few more conversions found their way over, but with most of the scores out on the touchlines, it was asking a lot.


In either case the gap for Exeter to narrow was a big one, and the task was made all the harder after 13 minutes of the second half when Worcester drove over from a lineout, extending the lead to 32-7.


In fairness to Exeter, they responded well, scoring a lovely try of their own just four minutes later as Harvey Skinner released Aaron Chapman with a delightful offload.


It was only a matter of minutes before they were over again, this time through the quick thinking of substitute scrum half Jacob Ham, who wriggled his way over from short range.


The best was yet to come though, from both sides. Exeter responded to that score with a try worthy of the senior set up. There were no long range heroics or silky sidesteps, just utterly brilliant execution.


Skinner fired out the most delicious pass to Sam Brown, who was running an equally delightful line and could quite literally stroll over the line. It was beautiful rugby, but alas for Exeter, it only reduced things to 39-19.


That was soon to be 44-19 too, when Robbie Smith absolutely tore away down the left touchline, catching everyone off guard to score a delightful try, rounding off what was a fine individual performance from the Hartpury College back, who started in the centres but ended up on the left wing.


It was all about the team today for Worcester though, who more than justified their position in the Academy Finals day, despite being the last side to be officially confirmed. The intensity of their play was simply too much to handle.


It was a more than worthy 5th place finish for Worcester, whose Academy is a fine example at the moment, with a number of players in the U20 set up, including Jack Singleton, who scored four tries against Italy on Friday night.


Full Time: Worcester Warriors 44-19 Exeter Chiefs


You can see photos of the game on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby


Worcester Warriors

15 Max Craven (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE) 14 Alex Hearle (Shrewsbury College) 13 Robbie Smith (Hartpury College) 12 Will Butler (Hereford Cathedral School) 11 Stan Mayne (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE) 10 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College) 9 Jamie Shillcock (Academy) 1 James Page (Academy) 2 Bec Cutting (Bromsgrove School) 3 Nick Rigby (Warwick School) 4 Ted Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE) 5 James Scott (Malvern College) 6 Ben Fowles (Solihull School) 7 Tom Ford (C) (Bromsgrove School) 8 Tom Dodd (Warwick School).

Replacements: 16 George Newman (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE) 17 Joe Morris (King’s Aston) 18 Freddie Hemmingway (Riverside School Malvern) 19 Lawrence Weston (Bromsgrove School) 20 Charlie Morgan (Solihull School) 21 Jacob Ham (King’s Worcester) 22 Sam Hollingsworth (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE) 23 Dion King (King’s Worcester).


Exeter Chiefs

1 Adam Wright 2 Matt Symons 3 Marcus Street 4 Hugo Culverhouse 5 Dan Swain 6 Sam Daly 7 Will Gibson 8 Charlie Wright 9 Joe Snow 10 Harvey Skinner 11 Alex Cant 12 Dec Matthews 13 Aaron Chapman 14 Matt Morrish 15 Toby Williams.

Replacements: 16 Nat Bayet 17 James Kenny 18 Liam Hilliar 19 Dan Head 20 Charlie Fetney 21 Aaron Bagwell 22 Sam Brown 23 Jessie Lowe.

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