Leicester Tigers and Gloucester will meet in the U18 Academy League Final on Sunday 11th March at Allianz Park after topping their respective conferences.
The two will be joined by Wasps, Saracens, and last year’s two finalists, Harlequins and Sale Sharks, on finals day, where Wasps will face Sarries in the third place play off, while Quins and Sale will replicate last year’s final in the 5th place play off.
Leicester Tigers went into the final round of the campaign knowing that they were already in the final, bar a miracle set of results, but they secured their place in style, beating Newcastle Falcons by a comprehensive 47-7 margin.
First half scores for the home side came through Will Poland, Zack Godfrey, and Jamie Harding as Leicester went in 19-0 ahead.
Newcastle got the first try of the second half , but Tigers bounced back fast, with Thom Smith securing the bonus points before Andre Dunn, Luke Phoenix, and Cameron Jordan added further tries to secure a stunning 47-7 win and a place in the U18 Academy League final.
Wasps secured second place with a 36-12 win at Northampton Saints, their fourth win of the campaign, leaving them three point clear of Sale in third place and securing them a place at finals day. They will face Saracens, who finished second in the Southern Conference.
Finishing third in the Northern Conference was Sale Sharks, who were looking over their shoulders at Newcastle. The Falcons’ defeat to Leicester on Saturday guaranteed Sale a place in the finals though, so when they faced Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday, the pressure was off.
It was a tough old game though, ending in a 24-24 draw with both sides securing the try scoring bonus point. Sale had gone 14-0 ahead, only for Yorkshire Carnegie to climb back for a 19-14 lead. The lead then changed hands again as Sale went 24-19 up, only for a last effort from the Headingley based side to secure the draw.
Sale scored through Tom Roebuck, Ewan Ashman, Bevan Rodd, and Connor Doherty en route to securing that third place finish and a place in the 5th place play off on Sunday 11th March against Harlequins at Allianz Park.
Gloucester went into the final round knowing that they had already secured top spot in the Southern Conference and a place in the U18 Academy League final. However if anyone though that might make them switch off, they could not have been more wrong.
Gloucester put in arguably the most dominant display of anyone in the U18 Academy League as they beat Bristol by a stunning 72-12 margin.
They scored a sensational twelve tries, including braces for Ewan Fenley and Jack Reeves, and a hat-trick from Jake Morris. Further scores came from hooker Bertie Stretch, tighthead Jack Bartlett, second row Joe Howard, and replacements Jack Curtis and Louis Rees-Zammit.
Behind Gloucester things were a little tighter, Saracens needed to win at home to Bath to guarantee a return to their home patch as the second place side from the South.
They got the job done, beating Bath 29-10, with Jonathan Kpoku, Sam Crean, Charlie Watson, Oliver Bluck, and Kapeli Pifeleti of Haileybury getting the tries for the away side.
The key game in the South though was between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins, who began the day in third and fourth respectively. Chiefs travelled to Harlequins knowing that the winner would secure that final place in the U18 Academy League final day, and the occasion proved to be one fitting of the situation.
Both sides went for it, running in tries by the hatful, both picked up try scoring bonus points, but it was Harlequins that came out the better as the sides shared eighty points, Quins winning 47-33 to claim third place and a fifth place play-off against Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on Sunday 11th March.
As always, if you have any videos, photos, or reports from the weekend’s U18 Academy League rugby, please feel free to send them in via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby), Instagram (@fifteenrugbyxv), or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
U18 Academy League Round 7 Results:
Leicester Tigers 47-7 Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints 12-36 Wasps
Sale Sharks 24-24 Yorkshire Carnegie
Bath 10-29 Saracens
Harlequins 47-33 Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester 72-12 Bristol
|U18 Academy League Table – Northern Conference|
|U18 Academy League Table – Southern Conference|
Images via Richard Papworth
15 Freddie Steward (Norwich), 14 Zack Godfrey (Stamford), 13 Sam Wager (Wyggeston & QE College), 12 Andre Dunn (Langley), 11 Will Poland (Bishop Vesey’s GS), 10 Jacob Fewtrell (Denstone College), 9 Will Yarnell (Loughborough GS), 1 Keston Lines (Wyggeston & QE College), 2 Jamie Harding (Denstone College), 3 Joe Latham (Wyggeston & QE College), 4 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College), 5 Cameron Jordan (Oakham, captain), 6 Henri Lavin (Wyggeston & QE College), 7 Taylor Gough (Wyggeston & QE College), 8 Thom Smith (Langley).
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gibson (Brooksby Melton College), 17 Dave Koelman (Stamford), 18 James Whitcombe (Woodhouse Grove), 19 Sam Eveleigh (Leicester GS), 20 Ronnie Du Randt (Denstone College), 21 Jonny Law (Rugby), 22 Sam Costelow (Oakham), 23 Luke Phoenix (Langley).
15 Josh Hodge, 14 Morgan Passman, 13 Chidera Obonna, 12 Theo Manihera, 11 Harry Jackson, 10 Callum Pascoe, 9 Cameron Kelemeti, 1 Will Elliott, 2 Alistair Blackett, 3 Reece Amir, 4 Tom Marshall, 5 Ethan Clarke, 6 Joe Lashley, 7 Mason Lewthwaite, 8 Jamie Adamson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Hay, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Freddy Lockwood, 19 Patrick Cooper, 20 Will Petiffer, 21 Jack Peter, 22 Will Roberts, 23 Ratu Bavadra.
15 Cameron Sharpe, 14 Josh Gillespie, 13 Ollie Slieghtholme, 12 Connor Tupai, 11 Jordan Milburn, 10 Sam Cappaert, 9 Fin Creighton, 1 Fraser Thompson, 2 Samson Ma’asi, 3 Jack Hughes, 4 George Whalley, 5 Freddie Betteridge, 6 Tom Addison, 7 Joe Wallace (c), 8 Emmauel Iyogun.
Replacements: 16 Ed McDowell, 17 Elliott Chivers, 18 Mitchell Brown, 19 Harry Charter, 20 Connor Finch, 21 Sam Connor, 22 Lewie Evans, 23 Morgan Dayes.
15 Simonds, 14 Atta, 13 Anderson, 12 Spink, 11 Bacon, 10 Atkinson, 9 Chilcott, 1 Nearchou, 2 Barbeary (c), 3 Roche, 4 Ademuwagun, 5 Mawdsley, 6 Curran, 7 Tunney, 8 Jakobsen.
Replacements: 16 Delaney, 17 Pleasants, 18 Harris, 19 Spicer, 20 Stoker, 21 Kay, 22 Lowe, 23 Fosuhene Gray.
15 Nathan Pope, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Connor Doherty, 12 Tom Curtis, 11 Tom Walsh, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Gus Warr, 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Ewan Ashman, 3 Cal Ford, 4 Rouban Birch, 5 Conor James, 6 Charlie Papworth, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Jack Hill.
Replacements: 16 Liam Davies, 17 Alex Brooks, 18 James Harper, 19 Joe Murphy, 20 Owen Roberts, 21 Joe Johnson, 22 Jacob Ainscough, 23 James Rooney, 24 Sam Higginson.
15 Joe Carpenter (Woodhouse Grove), 14 Jack Bodman (Hill House), 13 Jacob Mounsey (QEGS Wakefield), 12 Dan Lancaster (Bishop Burton), 11 James MaGee (Sedburgh), 10 Tom Stephenson (QEGS Wakefield), 9 Joe Green (Woodhouse Grove), 1 Conner Hancock (Bishop Burton), 2 Adam Brown (St Peter’s, York), 3 Callum Hancock (Bishop Burton), 4 Adam Hopkinson (Silcoates), 5 Matt Burke (Woodhouse Grove), 6 Alex Todd (Pocklington), 7 Harry Williams (Bishop Burton), 8 Ted Wainwright (Ripon GS).
Replacements: 16 Lawrence Mason (Bishop Burton), 17 Ben Carlile (Pocklington), 18 Billy Nichols (Benton Park), 19 Fraser Reed (Fulford), 20 Edan Kelly (QEGS Wakefield), 21 George Wright (Rishworth), 22 Kieran Wilyman (Woodhouse Grove), 23 Joe Gatus (QEGS Wakefield).
15 Tom de Glanville (Beechen Cliff), 14 Ethan Hutt (Beechen Cliff), 13 Miles Gilbert (Beechen Cliff), 12 Will Butt (Canford), 11 Oran McNulty (Millfield), 10 Orlando Bailey (Thomas Hardye), 9 Ben Mead (Beechen Cliff), 1 Jamie Guest (Richard Huish College), 2 Sam Elrick (Bryanston), 3 Si Elrick (Bryanston), 4 Chris Moore (Beechen Cliff), 5 Oli Cattell (Beechen Cliff), 6 Ayden Chenoweth (Beechen Cliff), 7 Will Hendy (Beechen Cliff), 8 Nahum Merigan (Beechen Cliff).
Replacements: 16 Rory Murchison (Kingswood), 17 Leroy Stephenson (Chilton Trinity), 18 Jack Bertinet (KES, Bath), 19 Frankie Read (Thomas Hardye), 20 Toby Gerrish (Prior Park), 21 George Worboys (Beechen Cliff), 22 Max Ojomoh (KES, Bath), 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Beechen Cliff).
Saracens – N/A
15 Jordan Bond, 14 Femi Sofolarin, 13 Hayden Hyde, 12 Jack Potter, 11 Jon Searle , 10 Sunny Jardine, 9 Caolon Englefield, 1 Jacob Morris, 2 Sam Reiley, 3 Kieran Sassone, 4 Hugh Tizzard, 5 George Hammond, 6 Jack Glover, 7 Vince Everitt, 8 Jack Kenningham.
Replacements: 16 Artisot Benz-Soloman, 17 TBC, 18 Jon Benz-Soloman, 19 Harry Dunmore, 20 Jack Reid, 21 Lennox Anyanwu, 22 Luc Smith, 23 Harry Barlow.
15 Dan Lilley, 14 Devon Jewsbury, 13 Luke Flack, 12 Robbie Weeks, 11 Archie Hill, 10 Ollie Toomey, 9 Sam Maunder (c), 1 Ollie Andrews, 2 Will Ridout, 3 Alfie Petch, 4 Lewis Pearson, 5 Cory Teague, 6 Joseph Parker-Cooke, 7 Richard Capstick, 8 Rus Tuima.
Replacements: 16 Scott Butterworth, 17 Henry Trudgill, 18 Elliot Salt, 19 Jake Clemson, 20 Bryn-Lee Jago, 21 James Tait, 22 Alex Gozzard, 23 Kian Atkinson.
15 Reece Dunn, 14 Tom Stanton (c), 13 Jack Reeves, 12 Isaac Marsh, 11 Jacob Morris, 10 George Barton, 9 Ewan Fenley, 1 Olly Adkins, 2 Bertie Stretch, 3 Jack Bartlett, 4 Jonny Holliday, 5 Joe Howard, 6 JJ Tonks, 7 Dec Fissenden, 8 Josh Gray.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Hunt, 17 Shay O’Malley, 18 Harry Daynes, 19 Archie Tarbuck, 20 Bailey Watts, 21 Jack Curtis, 22 Tommy Mathew, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.
15 Iwan Hughes (Bristol Academy) 14 Jack Bates (SGS Filton), 13 Charlie Powell (Bristol GS), 12 Soloman Hutchings (Clifton College), 11 Bertie Scoble (St Marys Uni), 10 Nathan Chamberlain (SGS Filton), 9 Ben Roach (SGS Filton), 1 Sean Ihegie (Cabot LF), 2 Will Capon (Bristol GS), 3 Jay Burley (SGS Filton), 4 George Brazier (Clifton College), 5 Ned Smith (Bristol GS), 6 Ethan Organ (Clifton College), 7 Tomi Adegbite (Cabot LF), 8 Ben Tothill (SGS Filton).
Replacements: 16 James Jackson (SGS Filton), 17 Harry Samuel (Hartpury College), 18 Ben Morgan (Cotham), 19 Chris Moseley (SGS Filton), 20 Finn Langford (SGS Filton), 21 Blake Boyland (SGS Filton), 22 Ethan Smith (SGS Filton), 23 Will Hines (Redland Green).
Round 6 Results:
Northampton Saints 12-26 Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors 26-35 Newcastle Falcons
Yorkshire Carnegie 7-36 Leicester Tigers
Bristol 17-33 London Irish
Harlequins 31-34 Gloucester
Saracens 31-26 Exeter Chiefs
Round 5 Results:
Sale Sharks 66-17 Worcester Warriors
Wasps 5-52 Leicester Tigers
Yorkshire Carnegie 15-15 Northampton Saints
Bristol 19-36 Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs 19-14 Bath
London Irish 21-21 Saracens
Round 4 Results:
Leicester Tigers 42-12 Worcester Warriors
Newcastle Falcons 14-33 Sale Sharks
Wasps 26-14 Yorkshire Carnegie
Bath 36-36 Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs 38-19 Bristol
Gloucester 20-19 London Irish
Round 3 Results:
Newcastle Falcons 41-27 Northampton Saints
Wasps 22-19 Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors 20-19 Yorkshire Carnegie
Gloucester 41-33 Exeter Chiefs
London Irish 41-50 Bath
Saracens 38-25 Bristol
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