The final round of the 2017 U18 Academy League saw some real changes in the tables as sides jostled to reach finals day on Thursday.
Three games take place at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Thursday, the 5th place play off at 12.30pm, the third place play off at 2.30pm, and the Grand Final at 4.30pm.
Heading into the weekend Harlequins had secured top spot in in the southern conference, but the top placed side in the northern conference, who would be their opponents in the final, remained wide open.
It turns out that it will be Sale Sharks, who shot up the table from third to first on the final weekend. They secured top spot with a brilliant 36-0 win away at Yorkshire Carnegie, but their top billing was by the most slender of margins as they topped the conference on points difference over Wasps, who had set the pace through much of the early part of the campaign until their shock defeat to Leicester in round 5.
Wasps did all that they could to try to secure top spot, they beat a strong Northampton Saints side 32-26, overtaking Worcester Warriors, who had a bye week, in the process to seal up second place. They will head to Sixways to compete in the third place play off against Exeter Chiefs, while Worcester will be in the 5th place play off on their home turf against Saracens.
The final game in the Northern Conference was effectively a dead rubber between Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers, with Newcastle ending their campaign on a high with a 25-12 victory, their first of the season.
Harlequins already had the southern conference wrapped up, and face Sale in the final, so they rested a number of players this weekend. However they would still have expected to compete far more strongly away to Exeter Chiefs. The Chiefs blew Quins off the park, winning 45-0 to secure second place ahead of Saracens and a third place play off against Wasps.
Saracens meanwhile finished third, and face Worcester Warriors in the fifth place play off, thanks to a thrilling 24-23 victory at home to Bath on Friday evening.
Gloucester, meanwhile, entered the final round with vague hopes of reaching the play offs, but those hopes were dashed by a brilliant Bristol performance at SGS Filton College, with Bristol securing their first victory of the season, 44-10.
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U18 Academy League Round 7 Results:
Newcastle Falcons 25-12 Leicester Tigers
Wasps 32-26 Northampton Saints
Yorkshire Carnegie 0-36 Sale Sharks
Bristol 44-10 Gloucester
Exeter Chiefs 45-0 Harlequins
Saracens 24-23 Bath
U18 Academy League Finals Day fixtures (all on Thursday at Sixways Stadium)
12.30pm – Worcester Warriors v Saracens – 5th place play-off
2.30pm – Wasps v Exeter Chiefs – 3rd place play-off
4.30pm – Sale Sharks v Harlequins – Final
|U18 Academy League Standings – Northern Conference|
|U18 Academy League Standings – Southern Conference|
Newcastle Falcons – N/A
Leicester Tigers – N/A
15 Selman, 14 Atta, 13 Bellis, 12 Spink, 11 Clark, 10 Pietersen, 9 Porter (c), 1 Salkeld, 2 Barbeary, 3 Strainge, 4 Sayer, 5 Tunney, 6 Curran, 7 Seabrook, 8 Willis.
Replacements: 16 Probyn, 17 Leat, 18 Harris, 19 Kiff, 20 Mawdsley, 21 Bishop, 22 Taylor, 23 Wells.
15 Joe Green, 14 Tosin Segun, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Fraser Strachan, 11 Ollie Slieghtholme, 10 Connor Tupai, 9 Harry Warn, 1 Rhys Charalambous, 2 Luke Risman, 3 Ehren Painter, 4 Jack West, 5 Alex Coles, 6 Freddie Davies, 7 Joe Britton, 8 Devante Onojaife.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Thompson, 17 Josaia Wacokecoke, 18 Jasper Dix, 19 Connor Finch, 20 Joe Wallace, 21 Fin Creighton, 22 Sam Cappaert, 23 Zac Bean.
15 Louis Brown, 14 George Bastow, 13 Jonny Ashman, 12 Will Fordy, 11 Rian Hamilton, 10 Sam Brooker, 9 Oli Fox (c), 1 Billy Nicholls, 2 Will Henshall, 3 Will Booth, 4 Tom Williams, 5 Elliot Ward, 6 Max Hanson, 7.Hugo Tasker, 8 Luke Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Ollie Rayner, 17 Nathan Youngs, 18 Peris Michael, 19 Barnaby Teasdale, 20 Harry Davey, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Jack Bodman, 23 Morgan Bunting.
15 Calum Owen, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Conor Doherty, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 George Chatterton, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Matt Sturgess, 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Nic Dolly, 3 Monty Weatherby, 4 Josef Murphy, 5 Charlie Pozniak, 6 Ciaran Booth, 7 Charlie Papworth, 8 Sam Dugdale.
Replacements: 16 Sol Neild, 17 John Blanchard, 18 Rouban Birch, 19 Charlie Papworth, 20 Luke James, 21 Tom Walsh, 22 Alex Burrage.
Bristol – N/A
15 Dunn, 14 Morgan, 13 Seabrook, 12 Cole, 11 Stanton, 10 Penny, 9 Chapman, 1 O’Malley, 2 Haly (c), 3 Bartlett, 4 Dyke, 5 Allen, 6 North, 7 Watts, 8 Hinkley.
Replacements: 16 Thor, 17 Nelson, 18 E Seville, 19 Bennion, 20 Adkins, 21 Davies, 22 Fenley, 23 Reeves.
15 Finn Marks, 14 Jake Penprase, 13 Ollie Gibbon, 12 Joe Elderkin, 11 AJ Cant, 10 Gwyn Parks, 9 Joe Snow, 1 Danny Southworth, 2 Ben Phillips, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Joseph Parker Cooke, 5 Lewis Pearson, 6 Charlie Wright, 7 Will Gibson, 8 Rusi Tuima.
Replacements: 16 Will Ridout, 17 Alfie Petch, 18 Danny Martin, 19 Torin Clarke, 20 Max Norey, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Angus Hallum, 23 Devon Jewsbury.
George Head (Tonbridge), Jacob Morris (Whitgift), Callum Tilleray (Wellington College), Kieran Sassone (Sevenoaks), Kareem Swandells (St John’s), George Hammond (Whitgift), Hugh Tizard (Cranleigh), Henry Paremain (RGS Guildford), Tom Davison (St John’s), Jack Glover (Harrow), Vincent Everitt (Hartpury College), Jack Kenningham (Reeds School).
Tom Nicole (Cranleigh), Caolan Englefield (St Paul’s, Sunbury), Harry Barlow (Cranleigh), Sunni Jardine (Dulwich College), Jake Hennessey (KCS Wimbledon), Will Sanders (St John’s), Miles McDuffus (Lord Wandsworth College), Josh Jones (Brighton College), Jon Searle (Brighton College), Lennox Anyanwu (Christ’s Hospital).
15 Elliot Obatoyinbo, 14 Oliver Bluck, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Josh Hallett, 11 Chriis Annous, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Bryn McCall, 1 Kapeli Pifeleti, 2 Billy Young, 3 Najee Mundicha, 4 Zach Conley, 5 Joel Kpoku, 6 Tobias Munday, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Ned Potter.
Replacements: 16 Sam Crean, 17 Andrew Boye, 18 Tavis Hunter, 19 Alfie Scopes, 20 Oscar Fernaux, 21 James Elms, 22 Liam Batty, 23 Matt Gilham.
15 Will Partington, 14 Luke Mehson, 13 Miles Gilbert, 12 Tom de Glanville, 11 Oran McNulty, 10 Al MacKenzie, 9 Ed Rimmer, 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 3 Toby Thurston, 4 Rhys Davies (c), 5 Tom Jeanes, 6 Connor Beer, 7 Harry Short, 8 George Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 George Costard, 17 George Bamsey, 18 Simone Elrick, 19 Tom Boxer, 20 Dan Curry, 21 Cameron Brown, 22 Will Butt, 23 Ethan Hutt.
U18 Academy League Round 6 Results:
Exeter Chiefs 17-34 Saracens
Gloucester 33-38 Harlequins
Leicester Tigers 20-20 Yorkshire Carnegie
London Irish 34-26 Bristol
Sale Sharks 43-27 Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons 17-34 Worcester Warriors
U18 Academy League Round 5 Results:
Bath 28-35 Exeter Chiefs
Harlequins 55-12 Bristol
Leicester Tigers 31-5 Wasps
Northampton Saints 43-19 Yorkshire Carnegie
Saracens 38-31 London Irish
Worcester Warriors 0-27 Sale Sharks
U18 Academy League Round 4 Results:
Bath 19-20 London Irish
Bristol 21-59 Saracens
Exeter Chiefs 34-26 Gloucester
Leicester Tigers 19-29 Sale Sharks
Wasps 30-3 Newcastle Falcons
Worcester Warriors 43-16 Northampton Saints
U18 Academy League Round 3 Results:
Gloucester 38-41 Bath
London Irish 21-24 Exeter Chiefs
Northampton Saints 39-19 Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks 12-22 Wasps
Saracens v Harlequins
Yorkshire Carnegie 10-39 Worcester Warriors
U18 Academy League Round 2 Results:
Bristol 17-21 Exeter Chiefs
Harlequins 40-5 Bath
London Irish 32-43 Gloucester
Sale Sharks 37-15 Newcastle Falcons
Worcester Warriors 27-26 Leicester Tigers
Yorkshire Carnegie 14-38 Wasps
U18 Academy League Round 1 Results:
Bath 22-22 Bristol
Gloucester 59-26 Saracens
Harlequins 30-21 London Irish
Newcastle Falcons 29-34 Yorkshire Carnegie
Northampton Saints 41-13 Leicester Tigers
Wasps 28-17 Worcester Warriors