The 2016 AASE League kicked off on Wednesday and it certainly lived up to expectations.
Reigning Champions Hartpury College, indeed the only ever Champions having won 7 in a row, were in action at home to 2014 finalists St Paul’s Catholic College after moving from the Northern Conference to the Southern Conference following the inclusion of Yorkshire Carnegie affiliates Bishop Burton College in the North.
The change of confidence certainly did not seen to affect Hartpury though, who resumed their normal position at the top of the table as they secured a strong 38-0 bonus point win over the London Irish AASE side.
New boys Bishop Burton were not in action this week, but there is another new team in the league this year, or rather an old team returning. Exeter College were among the AASE founders, but dropped out of the league, however they return to the Southern Conference this year in place of last year’s finalists, Bicton College.
It was the perfect start for Exeter College as they began at home with a strong 29-15 victory over SGS Filton College, a side who regularly challenge near the top.
There was good news for last year’s new boys too, Beechen Cliff. Last year they did not win a regular season AASE game, but they have fixed that good and early this year with a thumping 36-8 victory over Ivybridge Community College, putting them second in the table behind Hartpury after the opening round.
Behind them are Henley College, who got their season off to a flyer with a strong 31-5 victory over Exeter Chiefs’ third affiliate side in the AASE leagues, Truro College.
In the Northern Conference Gosforth Academy were the stars of the show on Wednesday, indeed they were the stars of the day across both conferences as they put in a stunning performance to beat Myerscough College 53-0, a result that they away side were powerless to stop.
That left Oaklands College as the only side with a chance of an away win on the opening day, and they duly delivered with a 24-15 away victory at Moulton College, setting the 2013 finalists on a strong path at the start of the season.
There was one game on Thursday, with last year’s new boys Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College, a side who have produced countless top players, taking on Worcester 6th form College.
Wyggeston impressed mightily last season, proving one of Hartpury’s closest challengers, however on Thursday it was Worcester 6th form College who followed Oaklands’ lead from the day before by taking a brilliant 33-21 away victory over the Leicester Tigers AASE side, sending a firm message to the rest of the league in the process.
It looks like there is a fascinating year ahead!
If you have any photos, videos, or report from this week’s AASE league games, please to send them in via email (email@example.com ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).
*Today’s photos courtesy of Anthony Gilbert – to see the full album, please follow this link: Beechen Cliff v Ivybridge
AASE Round 1 Results:
Gosforth Academy 53-0 Myerscough College
Moulton College 15-24 Oaklands College
Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College 21-33 Worcester 6th form College
Hartpury College 38-0 St Paul’s Catholic College
Beechen Cliff 36-8 Ivybridge Community College
Exeter College 29-15 SGS Filton College
Henley College 31-5 Truro College
|AASE League Table – Northern Conference|
|2||Worcester 6th form College||1||1||0||0||1||5|
|4||Bishop Burton College||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||Wyggestion & QEI College||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|AASE League Table – Southern Conference|
|5||SGS Filton College||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|7||Ivybridge Community College||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|8||St Paul’s Catholic College||1||0||0||1||0||0|