Round 5 of the U18 Academy League took place this week and the competition for places at finals day remains wide open.
While Leicester Tigers look absolutely set for top spot in the North, the fight for second and third looks open, so too in the South were almost all the way down to 5th there is an opportunity to reach the top 3.
Leicester Tigers have all but sealed top spot in the North after their 28-14 defeat of Yorkshire Carnegie, they have 25 points, ten clear of second placed Newcastle Falcons, and have a perfect five wins and five bonus points from their five games. Their only slight chance of missing out is if they lose out to Worcester without a bonus point next time out and Newcastle earn two bonus point wins from their remaining two games, that would leave them both on 25 points.
Newcastle keep themselves, mathematically, in the hunt thanks to a 33-21 victory at home over Worcester Warriors. The win keeps them at the head of the queue for second in the conference, two points clear of Sale and five clear of Wasps, who had a bye week this weekend.
Sale Sharks remain two points behind Newcastle and moved ahead of Wasps thanks to a 48-22 victory over Northampton Saints on Sunday, their form of late has been outstanding and they appear to be building some real momentum.
Gloucester remain unbeaten at the top of the pile, as last season, despite a weekend off. Harlequins had the chance to leapfrog them, however a superb Bath performance denied them that as the Somerset men won 16-8 away from home to move into third, just a point behind Harlequins and two behind Gloucester – with a game in hand over Quins, too.
London Irish sit a further four points behind in 4th after they inflicted more pain on Bristol Bears, who are yet to pick up a victory, winning 62-12 at Hazelwood.
Saracens sit just a point behind in fifth after a quite brilliant performance away at Exeter Chiefs, where they secured a 49-7 victory, keeping them in the hunt for a spot at finals day, albeit a long shot.
Next week is a rest week in the U18 Academy League before it picks up again on the 2nd/3rd February. Leicester Tigers can seal top spot in the North, while the key game could well be Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons, the winner will have their finals day place secured while the loser will be fending off the fight from behind. Saracens v Bath could be an exciting one in the south in terms of the finals day shake up. The final round of group fixtures takes place on the 9th February.
A reminder that we welcome any photos, videos, and reports from your school’s games – the more the merrier! You can send them in to us via any of the methods below:
U18 Academy League Round 5 Fixtures:
Leicester Tigers 28-14 Yorkshire Carnegie
Newcastle Falcons 33-21 Worcester Warriors
Sale Sharks 48-22 Northampton Saints
Exeter Chiefs 7-49 Saracens
Harlequins 8-16 Bath
London Irish 62-12 Bristol Bears
15 Freddie Steward, 14 Leo Gilliland, 13 Matt Potts, 12 Sam Costelow, 11 Joe Browning, 10 Harry Glynn, 9 Sam Edwards, 1 James Whitcombe (captain), 2 Archie Vanes, 3 Rob Hardwick, 4 Will Backhouse, 5 George Martin, 6 Emeka Ilione, 7 Samuel Eveleigh, 8 Ollie Ashworth.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Allsopp, 17 Alex Maxwell, 18 Jack Rowntree, 19 Tom Manz, 20 Kit Smith, 21 Jack Van Poortvliet, 22 Ronnie Du Randt, 23 Ollie Smith.
15 Joe Carpenter (Woodhouse Grove, captain), 14 Ollie Williams (Ripon GS), 13 Jack Metcalfe (Bishop Burton College), 12 Jake Adams (QEGS Wakefield), 11 Oren Loftus (Queen Ethelburga’s), 10 Dan Lancaster (Bishop Burton College), 9 Sam Murphy (Bradford Grammar), 1 Conner Hancock (Bishop Burton College, vc), 2 Lawrence Mason (Sedbergh), 3 Liam Bishop (Trent College), 4 Will Smith (QES), 5 Steele Barker (Durham), 6 Ben Sugars (Grammar School at Leeds), 7 Harry Cartwright (Bishop Burton College), 8 Ted Wainwright (Ripon GS).
Replacements: 16 Sam Dickinson (Prince Henry’s GS), 17 Sam Ivers (Crossley Heath), 18 Will Pritchard (St John Fisher), 19 Oscar Scott (Bishop Burton College), 20 Alex Todd (Pocklington), 21 Theo Smerdon (Ampleforth College), 22 Ben MacNamara (Pocklington), 23 Luke Fairbank (Woodhouse Grove). TRs Jacob Polland (Crossley Heath), Tom Nicholson (Queen Ethelburga’s).
15 Theo Manihera, 14 Matty Ward, 13 Chidera Obonna, 12 Andrew Mitchell, 11 Will Roberts, 10 Will Haydon-Wood, 9 Michele Brighetti, 1 Will Elliott, 2 Owen Chaplin, 3 Phil Brantingham, 4 Ben Robson, 5 Freddie Lockwood, 6 Mason Lewthwaite, 7 Will Pettifer, 8 Paddy Cooper.
Replacements: 16 Ollie Fletcher, 17 Drew Thompson, 18 Oscar Caudle, 19 Owen Vassallo, 20 Marcus Tiffen, 21 James Blackett, 22 Michael Cooke, 23 Wil Panday.
15 Fin Morgan (Bromsgrove), 14 Lewis Maddox (Bromsgrove), 13 Harry Spencer (Warwick), 12 Sebastian Atkinson (Bromsgrove, captain), 11 Rufus Hulbert (Bromsgrove), 10 Fin Smith (Warwick), 9 Oliver Wynn (Bromsgrove), 1 Joe Richardson (King’s Worcester), 2 Jon Lilley (Stourport HS), 3 Jamie Constantine (Hartpury College), 4 Arinze Okemuo (KES Birmingham), 5 Jack Lewis (Stourport HS), 6 Jack Forsythe (Warwick), 7 Will Higgins (Idsall), 8 Morgan Monks (Worcester 6th Form College).
Replacements: 16 Ben Turner (Bromsgrove), 17 Will Davis (Ellesmere College), 18 Lewis Ballenger (Worcester 6th Form College), 19 Tom Black (Hereford 6th Form College), 21 Peter Olley (Bromsgrove), 22 Owen McDougall (Solihull).
15 Cal Grieve, 14 Oliver Melville, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Elliot Gourlay, 11 Tom Roebuck, 10 Tom Curtis, 9 Raffi Quirke (captain), 1 Tom Clarke, 2 Ethan Caine, 3 James Harper, 4 Sam Higginson, 5 Ewan Murphy, 6 Ollie Leatherbarrow, 7 John Bailey, 8 Josh Hadland.
Replacements: 16 PAtchett, 17 Harding, 18 Bowker 19 Johnson, 20 Ainscough, 21 Davies, 22 Oliver, 23 Melville. TRs Thomas, Bewlow, Bishop.
Northampton Saints – TBA
15 Frankie Dart, 14 Ben Fenton, 13 Troy Sixton, 12 Archie Hill, 11 Charlie Cadogan, 10 Haydn Lidstone, 9 Ali Stacey, 1 Chris King, 2 Will Goffey, 3 Harvey Dunn, 4 Joe Elsworth, 5 Luke Bralsford, 6 Jake Bond (captain), 7 Ethan Maltby, 8 Harry Hocking.
Replacements: 16 Mackenzie Oliver, 17 Cian Goldsmith, 18 Devlin Welch, 19 Joe Greaves, 20 Scott Butterworth, 21 Tom Cairns, 22 Isaak Welch, 23 Alex Gozzard.
15 Max Bliss (Dulwich College), 14 Lucas Lacamp (Kings Canterbury), 13 Cameron Furley (St Albans), 12 Josh Hallett (New Hall), 11 Jake Morris (Bishop’s Stortford College), 10 Josh Barton (Berkhamsted), 9 Sam Bryan (Felsted), 1 Harry Sturge (Felsted), 2 Theodore Dan (Alleyn’s), 3 Harvey Beaton (Sutton Valence), 4 Alex Wardell (Felsted), 5 Cameron Crowe (The Leys), 6 Toby Ponsford (Skinners), 7 Toby Knight (Berkhamsted), 8 Oliver Stonham (Felsted, captain).
Replacements: 16 Samson Adejimi (Davenant Foundation), 17 Jevaughn Warren (Oaklands College), 18 Matt Cannon (JFK Hemel Hempstead), 19 Callum McGurk (Haileybury), 20 Nathan Bispham (The North), 21 Charles Favell (Bishop’s Stortford College), 22 Brandon Jackson (Sutton Valence), 23 Daniel James (Townsend C of E).
15 L Lynagh (Hampton), 14 O Beard (Cranleigh), 13 L Anyanwu (Christs Hospital), 12 J Potter (St John’s, Leatherhead), 11 J Botterill (Fullbrook), 10 L Smith (Brighton College), 9 M Davies (Dulwich College), 1 J Salomon (Caterham), 2 S Riley (St. George’s, Weybridge, captain), 3 F Baxter (Wellington College), 4 E Powell (Brighton College), 5 E Croy (Dulwich College), 6 H Dugmore (Whitgift), 7 J Reid (Wellington College), 8 W Trenholm (Cranleigh).
Replacements: 16 D Thomas (Hurstpierpoint College), 17 B Murrin (Wellington College), 18 A Salomon (Whitgift), 19 T Scalabrini (Wellington College), 20 T Johnson (Wellington College), 21 J Williams (Harrodian), 22 J Bourton (Hurstpierpoint College), 23 A Clayton (Brighton College).
15 George Worboys (co-captain), 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Ruben Moxham, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Owen Dudman, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Tom Carr-Smith, 1 Archie Stanley, 2 John Stewart, 3 Jack Bertinet, 4 Ewan Richards (co-captain), 5 Ethan Staddon, 6 Xavier Hastings, 7 Will Hendy, 8 Nahum Merigan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Jenkins, 17 Archie Alexander, 18 Archie Griffin, 19 Frankie Read, 20 Ayden Chenoweth, 21 Archie Friend, 22 Nat Arnold, 23 Gabriel Goss.
15 Finley Brown, 14 Henry Arundell, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Phil Cokanasiga, 11 Alex Harmes, 10 Will Sinfield, 9 Sam Clough, 1 Luke Green, 2 Nathan Langdon, 3 Joe Keohane, 4 Albert Dwan, 5 Chunya Munga, 6 Lucas Brooke, 7 Josh Smart (captain), 8 Jack Belcher.
Replacements: 16 Joe Vajner, 17 Lennan Day, 18 Oisin Kearney, 19 Joe Knight, 20 Elijah Smith, 21 Rory Morgan, 22 Monty Bradbury, 23 Jesper Hartikainen. TRs Sam Harding, Dan Ormond.
15 Tom Unsworth, 14 Jack Bates, 13 Tom Jones, 12 Harry Ascherl, 11 Deago Bailey, 10 Tom Quinlan, 9 Abe Turner, 1 Harry Samuel, 2 Joel Coughlin, 3 Jay Burley, 4 Charlie Rice, 5 Spencer Power, 6 Andrew Watson, 7 Harry Chase, 8 Fergus Dick.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Thompson, 17 Charlie Squier, 18 George Perry, 19 Chris Moseley, 20 Hugh Richardson, 21 Jake Kendall, 22 Jack Gapper, 23 Adam Coblic.
Round 4 Results:
Leicester Tigers 27-24 Sale Sharks
Northampton Saints 10-41 Newcastle Falcons
Yorkshire Carnegie 5-50 Wasps
Bath 77-17 Bristol Bears
Gloucester 27-26 Harlequins
Saracens 31-19 London Irish
Round 3 Results:
Leicester Tigers 34-7 Wasps
Newcastle Falcons 22-14 Yorkshire Carnegie
Worcester Warriors 19-24 Northampton Saints
Bristol Bears 17-21 Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester 23-22 Bath
Saracens 12-26 Harlequins
Round 2 Results:
Northampton Saints 12-53 Leicester Tigers
Wasps 42-31 Worcester Warriors
Yorkshire Carnegie 19-19 Sale Sharks
Bath 64-7 Exeter Chiefs
Bristol Bears 14-50 Gloucester
Harlequins 43-26 London Irish
Round 1 Results:
Newcastle Falcons 14-66 Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks 43-17 Wasps
Yorkshire Carnegie 31-12 Worcester Warriors
Gloucester 28-12 Saracens
Harlequins 48-0 Bristol Bears
London Irish 36-20 Exeter Chiefs
Round 6 Fixtures (2nd/3rd February):
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons
Wasps v Northampton Saints
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins
London Irish v Gloucester
Saracens v Bath
Round 7 Fixtures (9th February):
Northampton Saints v Yorkshire Carnegie
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
Bath v London Irish
Bristol Bears v Saracens
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester
U18 Academy League Finals Day – Sunday 17th February, Allianz Park