Round 2 of the U18 Academy League took place this weekend, the first of three weekend’s of action in a row.
The League’s structure sees it split North and South, with each division consisting of seven sides. The teams play the other sides in their division once each, with the top 3 from each division meeting their counterparts from the other division at the U18 Academy League Finals Day.
The action kicked off on Friday afternoon as last year’s losing finalists, Sale Sharks, began their campaign after a bye week in the opening round. They hosted a Leicester Tigers side that enjoyed a thrilling 31-31 draw against local rivals Northampton in the opening round.
Sale’s side included Sedbergh skipper Cameron Redpath at inside centre, who featured twice for the senior side over half term. Alongside him is the exciting Kieran Wilkinson of Kirkham Grammar School at fly half, while rising star and fellow Sedbergh man Bevan Rodd is at loosehead.
Tigers meanwhile once against selected from a huge range of schools, Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College feature most heavily, and are represented across the back row, where Henri Lavin will captain the side from number 8.
The game ended 16-6 to Tigers, with replacement hooker Finlay Gibson scoring the only try of the game. The away side led 6-3 at the break but Redpath leveled things for Sale shortly after, however Gibson’s try handed back the advantage to Tigers, with Sam Costelow of Oakham adding the conversion and a penalty for the ten point winning margin.
Over at Northampton Saints a stunning Worcester Warriors comeback saw them secure the win, 26-20, bouncing back fantastically from their round 1 loss to Wasps.
Saints led 20-5 at half time thanks to two tries from tighthead Jack Hughes, a try from fellow prop Fraser Thompson, as well as a conversion and a penalty from scrum half Fin Creighton.
Worcester had actually opened the scoring after 9 minutes through Worcester 6th form College winger Ollie Gould, however they would be scoreless for the remainder of the half. That all changed in the second half though as they came flying out of the traps, scoring early through their other Worcester 6th form College wing, Charlie Gamble, with schoolmate and scrum half Jake Leonard converting.
With an hour gone they closed the gap to Saints to just a point at 20-19, as Solihull’s Lewis Holsey, on as a replacement, crashed over, with Josh Phipps converting.
The comeback was completed with just two minutes left on the clock, Gamble crossing for his second to give his side the lead, and Phipps converting to complete a glorious 26-20 final score.
Wasps, who put fifty points past Worcester in the opening round, travelled to Newcastle Falcons, who themselves lost to Yorkshire Carnegie last time out, in the final game of round 2 in the northern conference.
What unfolded was a fantastic game of rugby, with the two sides sharing the spoils in a 24-24 draw, the highlights of which you can see here: Newcastle Falcons U18 v Wasps U18.
Gloucester, who won away at Saracens in an impressive first round result, were in stunning form on Saturday as they beat their West Country rivals, Bath, by an outstanding 66-10 margin.
Within ten minutes they were already three tries up, thanks to scores from Jack Reeves, and a brace from Ewan Fenley. By the fifteen minute mark the bonus point was secured as George Barton crossed for his side’s fourth.
Bath came back into it though, a yellow card for Gloucester opening the door for Rory Murchison to score for the visitors. The hosts were not to have their momentum held for long though as left wing Jake Morris scored a brace of tries before the half time break to secure a 38-5 half time lead.
The half time break did not slow the home side down, with Reece Dunn dotting down early on, and Morris following for his hat-trick shortly after. The scorer was then the provider a few minutes later when he send Jack Reeves over for his second. The Gloucester scoring was then completed just before the hour when Ewan Fenley completed the second hat-trick of the game with a classic scrum halves try from the base of the ruck.
Bath kept coming though and scored late on to leave the final score at 66-10 in Gloucester’s favour.
Elsewhere in the Southern Conference Exeter Chiefs kicked off their campaign, following a bye week last time out, with a superb 48-17 victory over the ever-strong London Irish academy, condemning the Exiles to conceding over forty points for the second time in two rounds.
Last time out the Exiles were defeated by Harlequins, but the South West Londoners could not back that up on Saturday as they went down at home to Saracens 23-12. It was a cracking result for Saracens, who would have been hurting after losing that thriller at home to Gloucester last time out.
The League continues next week with Bristol re-entering the fray in the South after a bye week. They travel to Saracens, while Bath travel to London Irish. Gloucester host Exeter Chiefs at Hartpury College, with Harlequins enjoying a bye week.
In the North Wasps welcome Sale Sharks for what looks like a cracking contest, Newcastle Falcons meanwhile welcome Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors host Yorkshire Carnegie, Leicester Tigers sit this round out.
U18 Academy League Round 2 Results:
Sale Sharks 6-16 Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons 24-24 Wasps
Northampton Saints 20-26 Worcester Warriors
Bath 10-66 Gloucester
Exeter Chiefs 48-17 London Irish
Harlequins 12-23 Saracens
Round 1 Results:
Leicester Tigers 31-31 Northampton Saints
Worcester Warriors 12-55 Wasps
Yorkshire Carnegie 33-19 Newcastle Falcons
Bristol 32-14 Bath
London Irish 29-43 Harlequins
Saracens 31-34 Gloucester
15 Tom Curtis, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Conor Doherty, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Raffi Quirke, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Tom Walsh, 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Ewan Ashman, 3 Cal Ford, 4 Rouban Birch, 5 Jack Hill, 6 Ciaran Booth, 7 Charlie Papworth, 8 Sam Dugdale.
Replacements: 16 Liam Davies, 17 Alex Brooks, 18 James Harper, 19 Connor James, 20 Sam Higginson, 21 Gus Warr, 22 James Rooney, 23 Evan Powell.
15 Freddie Steward (Norwich), 14 Zack Godfrey (Stamford), 13 Will Poland (Bishop Vesey’s GS), 12 Ronnie Du Randt (Denstone College), 11 Luke Phoenix (Langley), 10 Sam Costelow (Oakham), 9 Will Yarnell (Loughborough GS), 1 Keston Lines (Wyggeston & QE College), 2 Jamie Harding (Denstone College), 3 James Whitcombe (Woodhouse Grove), 4 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College), 5 Cameron Jordan (Oakham), 6 Xander Purcell (Wyggeston & QE College), 7 Taylor Gough (Wyggeston & QE College), 8 Henri Lavin (Wyggeston & QE College, captain).
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gibson (Brooksby Melton College), 17 Alex Maxwell (Brooksby Melton College), 18 Joe Latham (Wyggeston & QE College), 19 Ollie Ashworth (Langley), 20 Sam Eveleigh (Leicester GS), 21 Jack Van Poortvliet (Oakham), 22 Jonny Law (Rugby), 23 Andre Dunn (Langley).
15 Josh Hodge, 14 Morgan Passman, 13 Nathan Henderson, 12 Cameron Kelemeti, 11 Harry Jackson, 10 Callum Pascoe, 9 Andrew Miller, 1 Will Elliott, 2 Joe Lashley, 3 Oscar Caudle, 4 Ethan Clarke, 5 Will Montgomery, 6 Tom Marshall, 7 Harry Hill, 8 Rob Farrar.
Replacements: 16 Phil Brantingham, 17 Ash Sinton, 18 Freddy Lockwood, 19 Will Petiffer, 20 Eddy Anderson, 21 Jack Peter, 22 Theo Manihera, 23 Chidera Obonna.
15 Bacon, 14 Atta, 13 Anderson, 12 Weatherall, 11 O’Sullivan, 10 Pietersen, 9 Mortimer (vc), 1 Pleasants, 2 Barbeary (c), 3 Roche, 4 Tunney, 5 Kelley, 6 Curran, 7 Stoker, 8 Tunney.
Replacements: 16 Nearchou, 17 Mbaud, 18 West, 19 Vickers, 20 Jakobsen, 21 Chillcott, 22 Atkinson, 23 Phillips.
15 Jake Johnson, 14 Josh Gillespie, 13 Sam Cappaert, 12 Connor Tupai, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 Tyler Mills, 9 Fin Creighton, 1 Fraser Thompson, 2 Samson Ma’asi, 3 Jack Hughes, 4 Marshall Sykes, 5 Freddie Betteridge, 6 Ryan Hussey, 7 Connor Finch, 8 Tom Addison.
Replacements: 16 Ed McDowell, 17 Elliot Chilvers, 18 Mitchell Brown, 19 Kayde Sylvester, 20 Emmanuel Iyogun, 21 Sam Connor, 22 Lewis Evans, 23 Josh Lack.
15 Noah Heward (Solihull), 14 Charlie Gamble (Worcester Sixth Form College), 13 Rob Lester (Worcester Sixth Form College), 12 Paul Wells (Worcester Sixth Form College), 11 Ollie Gould (Worcester Sixth Form College), 10 Louis Jackson (KES Stratford), 9 Jake Leonard (Worcester Sixth Form College), 1 Tom Furnival (Worcester Sixth Form College), 2 Jamie White (Worcester Sixth Form College), 3 Max Baggs (Cheltenham College), 4 Tom Fawcett (Warwick), 5 Aaron Lawes (KES Five Ways), 6 Oli Thorneywork (Warwick), 7 Will Higgins (Idsall), 8 Morgan Monks (Worcester Sixth Form College).
Replacements: 16 Aaron Layton (Worcester Sixth Form College), 17 Lewis Holsey (Solihull), 18 Lewis Ballinger (Worcester Sixth Form College), 19 Tom Berry (RGS Worcester), 20 Ben Turner (Bromsgrove), 21 Tom Williams (Bromsgrove), 22 Josh Phipps (Hartpury College), 23 Lewis Maddox (Bromsgrove).
15 Ethan Hutt (Beechen Cliff), 14 Luke Mehson (Canford), 13 Will Butt (c) (Canford), 12 Max Ojomoh (KES, Bath), 11 Oran McNulty (Millfield), 10 Oli Hobman (Millfield), 9 Will Cook (Malborough College), 1 George Bamsey (Beechen Cliff), 2 Rory Murchison (Kingswood), 3 Jack Bertinet (KES, Bath), 4 Chris Moore (Beechen Cliff), 5 Tom Jeanes (Beechen Cliff), 6 Ayden Chenoweth (Beechen Cliff), 7 Henry Povoa (Millfield), 8 Nahum Merrigan (Beechen Cliff).
Replacements: 16 Jack Burnett (Millfield), 17 William Bailey (Sherborne), 18 Archie Griffin (Marlborough College), 19 Will Hendy (Beechen Cliff), 20 Lawrence Wort (KES, Bath), 21 Ben Mead (Beechen Cliff), 22 Miles Gilbert (Beechen Cliff), 23 Orlando Bailey (Thomas Hardye).
15 Reece Dunn, 14 Alex Morgan, 13 Jack Reeves, 12 Isaac Marsh, 11 Jake Morris, 10 George Barton, 9 Ewan Fenley, 1 Shay O’Malley, 2 Bertie Stretch, 3 Ollie Adkins, 4 Archie Tarbuck, 5 Joe Howard, 6 JJ Tonks, 7 Jack Clement, 8 Cam Terry.
Replacements: 16 Morgan Nelson, 17 Alex Hunt, 18 Jack Bartlett, 19 Jonny Holliday, 20 Bailey Watts, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Louis Rees-Zammit, 23 Tom Stanton.
15 James Tucker, 14 Archie Hill, 13 Luke Flack, 12 Robbie Weeks, 11 Kian Atkinson, 10 Olly Toomey, 9 Sam Maunder (c), 1 Danny Southworth, 2 Will Ridout, 3 Alfie Petch, 4 Cory Teague, 5 Jake Clemson, 6 Flynn Edworthy, 7 Richard Capstick, 8 Rus Tuima.
Replacements: 16 Harvey Dunn, 17 Oliver Andrews, 18 Henry Trudgill, 19 Lewis Pearson, 20 Bryn Lee-Jago, 21 James Tait, 22 Barrie Karea, 23 Ollie Gibbon.
15 Jack Jesty, 14 Dan Stoller, 13 Ciaran McGann, 12 Reuben Knight, 11 Ben Harris, 10 Will Sinfield, 9 Sam Clough, 1 Luke Green, 2 Ben Atkins, 3 Jamie Henson, 4 Chunya Munga, 5 Lee Moore, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Fin Rossiter, 8 Josh Smart.
Replacements: 16 Edward Cockman, 17 Ben Raho, 18 Jack Belcher, 19 Gwilym Bradley, 20 Toby Smith, 21 Gruffyd Williams, 22 Phillip Cokanasiga, 23 Ted Drayson.
S Riley (St George’s, Weybridge), J Morris (Whitgift), A Salomon (Whitgift), J Salomon (Whitgift), K Sassone (Sevenoaks), P Green (Seaford), H Tizard (Cranleigh), G Hammond (Whitgift), H Dugmore (Whitgift), S Davies (Cranleigh), J Glover (Harrow), D Cuthbert (City of London Freemans), J Kenningham (Reeds).
C Englefield (St Paul’s Catholic College), S Jardine (Dulwich College), L Smith (Brighton College), T Allen (Epsom College), J Potter (St John’s, Leatherhead), J Bourton (Hurstpierpoint College), L Anyanwu (Christ’s Hospital), H Barlow (Cranleigh), J Searle (Brighton), L Lynagh (Hampton).
Saracens – N/A