U18 Academy Update: 3 head into final weekend unbeaten after a joyous weekend of rugby

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Coach Logic

It was the penultimate weekend of the truncated U18 Academy League season on Saturday and Sunday, with all fourteen Academies in action.

Eleven of the fourteen sides released their teamsheets ahead of the weekend’s action, looking to help give players a good send off from their time in the U18 Academies. For so many involved this will be the last time that they pull on a professional jersey, so credit to the sides that have tried to make it as special as possible, the likes of Yorkshire Academy with their social media drive, Newcastle Falcons turning it into a bit of a ‘Last Dance’, and Northampton Saints with their strong showing of photos and highlights, to name just a few.

Next week will be even more special, the last U18 Academy games of the season, whether players are moving into the Senior Academy, moving on from the academy, heading to University, or anything else, it will be their last game together. Let’s hope the players get the recognition and promotion that they deserve.

Gloucester 41-17 Wasps

Gloucester made it three from three on Saturday with a stunning 41-17 victory over Wasps, adding to previous victories over Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers, with Rob Nixon, Morgan Adderly-Jones, Tom Bridge (who has only recently recovered from an ACL injury), and Tom Worts their try scorers, along with a brace for outside centre Iwan Glynn. Meanwhile Shiplake College’s Fyn Brown, this week playing at blindside, was one of Wasps’ try scorers, Brown is one of five players in the starting side for Wasps that have signed pro terms ahead of the 2021/22 season. Dan Barnett also scored for Wasps as well as Rugby School flanker Kofi Cripps, another of those soon-to-be pros, but there was little that Wasps could do, especially in the second half, to stop the Gloucester onslaught. Gloucester go to head to head in the final round of games this week with one of the other two unbeaten teams through this 3 game stretch, Exeter Chiefs. They travel to Truro College for this one, with the winner likely hoping that Saracens fail to win their game, leaving them as the only unbeaten side of the 14 Academies.

Gloucester

15 Jack Park, 14 Ben Peters, 13 Iwan Glynn, 12 Morgan Adderly-Jones, 11 Archie Hossack, 10 Conor Murphy, 9 Joe Adams, 1 James Lascelles, 2 Dom Hey, 3 James Pollard, 4 Danny Eite, 5 Liam Antrobus, 6 Albert Taylor, 7 Ellis Hart, 8 Rob Nixon.

Replacements: 16 George Merrit, 17 Tyler Harvey, 18 Henry Pearson, 19 Ben Golding, 20 Tom Worts, 21 Tom Bridge, 22 Nathan Thomson-Lee, 23 Tom Samak.

Wasps

15 Dan Barnett, 14 Will Glister, 13 Ollie Dawkins, 12 Ryan Sweeting, 11 Eparama Rokodrava, 10 Will Evans, 9 Lorenzo Gasilio, 1 Luke Nunn, 2 Harry Silman, 3 Asher Opoku, 4 Pietro Turrisi, 5 Alfie Bell, 6 Fyn Brown, 7 Kofi Cripps, 8 Aaron Florestein.

Replacements: 16 Kian Jones, 17 Joe Farmer, 18 Matt Horndy, 19 Liam Jone, 20 Alex Fakatou, 21 Mason Winterburn, 22 Charlie West, 23 Reuben Logan.

Leicester Tigers 38-34 Sale Sharks

Leicester Tigers made it back to back victories with a thrilling 38-34 defeat of Sale Sharks at Loughborough University on Saturday, despite fielding a side that was entirely U17 in the starting lineup. Finn Carnduff and Chester Owen opened the try scoring for Tigers, before Carnduff added a second after half time, with replacement hooker Max Nolan also scoring a brace. Sale Sharks unfortunately did not publish their side once again. They were looking forward to this one having performed well against the Yorkshire Academy a fortnight previous, however despite a late flurry of points, they could not quite get past their Leicester Tigers side that have won or shared the last three U18 Academy League titles.

Leicester Tigers

O – Max Fairlie, N – Ben Moore, M – Oscar van Deventer, L – Joe Woodward, K – Sam Jacques, J – Morgan Meredith, I – Fergus Makepeace, A – Jack Hurst, B – Charlie Barraclough, C – Will Elsmore, D – Finn Carnduff, E – Callum Richardson, F – Chester Owen, H – Ollie Arnold, G – Simon Koriyadi.

Replacements: Nathan Hind, Josh Many, Dan Ormerod, Ant Pedlar, Kip Hoton, James Lewis, Callum Leat, Tom Allen, Seb Smith, Max Nolan, Jacob Odams, Jed Gelderbloom, Jack Vernum, George Loose, Divan Grobler, Phoenix Laulu Togaga’e.

Sale Sharks – Not Published

Northampton Saints 31-19 London Irish

After a thrilling loss to Saracens in week 1, Northampton Saints are now flying following two impressive victories over Harlequins and now London Irish. A number of their side were playing their last games for Saints, and they certainly put in the effort there were tries from Ipswich’s Harry Rayfield and Norwich’s Jake Garside, one of several players in the squad to be turning pro this summer, but the big story was a hat-trick from KES Stratford full back George Hendy. Saints were clinically in picking off on loose London Irish play, but London Irish will doubtless be keen to bounce back in their last game this weekend after three relatively narrow defeats.

Northampton Saints

15 George Hendy (KES Stratford), 14 Jack Leggate (Uppingham), 13 Sonny Rodella (Northampton School for Boys), 12 Archie Kean (Royal Hospital School), 11 Frankie Sleightholme (Northampton School for Boys), 10 Toby Thame (Radley College), 9 Kieran Gilmour (Bedford), 1 Leroy O’Neil (St Joseph’s College), 2 Aston Gradwick-Light (Rugby), 3 Nick Tarr (Mark Rutherford), 4 Tom Lockett (Colchester RGS), 5 Rory Ward (Stamford), 6 Ted Reid (Colchester RGS), 7 Joe Gaffan (Rugby), 8 Geordie Irvine (Oundle).

Replacements: 16 Craig Wright (Felsted), 17 Sam Ferrari (Samuel Whitbread Academy), 18 Callum Smyth (Bedford), 19 Tom Charter (Samuel Whitbread Academy), 20 George Lavender (Colchester RGS), 21 Keon Sylvester (Ipswich), 22 Jake Garside (Norwich), 23 Matty Arden (Stamford), 24 Harry Rayfield (Ipswich), 25 Max Rayfield (Ipswich).

London Irish

15 Darragh Walsh, 14 Matt Salisbury, 13 Jack Walsh, 12 Connor Cross, 11 Oscar Daniel, 10 Monty Bradbury, 9 Dan Ormond, 1 Afolabi Fasogbon, 2 Freddie Fearnley, 3 Mikey Summerfield, 4 Sam Harding, 5 Jarlath Gleeson, 6 Oliver Stirling, 7 Louie Kirkham, 8 Sam Pal-Byrne.

Replacements: 16 Will Dempster, 17 Calum Scott, 18 Alec Zaimovic, 19 Jack Bemelmans, 20 Ollie Allan, 21 Oscar Grantham, 22 Mason Marcher.

Yorkshire Academy 29-7 Newcastle Falcons

Two sides that have really worked hard to ensure that these games are really special for all of those involved, and two sides that came in with some good form behind them. Yorkshire Academy almost looked set to no longer exist a year ago, but in week one they beat Wasps and last time out had a cracker against Sale Sharks, while Newcastle Falcons arrived with two superb wins from two over Sale and Wasps. On Saturday though, Yorkshire were fantastic, as you can see below. Newcastle had changed their squad up a bit but this passionate young group from Yorkshire but in a massive shift and will now be seriously looking forward to their game against Northampton Saints. 

Yorkshire Academy

15 G Gilgrass, 14 B Horberry, 13 F Clark, 12 J Mounsey (vc), 11 O Ene, 10 T Parkin, 9 J Harris, 1 N Hawker, 2 J Mainey, 3 T Bairstow, 4 K Fofie, 5 L Guthrie, 6 B Copley (c), 7 B Markey, 8 O Tomalin.

Replacements: 16 M Tanner, 17 C Murphy, 18 E Hasdell, 19 E Harrison, 20 P Tabalakia, 21 A Bennett, 22 C Ribbons, 23 B Turpin.

Newcastle Falcons

1 Sam Birkbeck, 2 Tom Hill, 3 Jonny Dodds, 4 Will Hodgson, 5 Ollie Mullarkey, 6 Innes Hill, 7 Ben Pettifer, 8 Matty Deehan, 9 James Naylor, 10 Harry Williams, 11 Jake Metcalfe, 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 13 Archie Thompson, 14 Lewis Robertson, 15 Nathan Gough.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Smith, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Michael Rewcastle, 19 Marcus Tiffen, 20 Guy Pepper, 21 Ben Douglas, 22 Josh Leslie, 23 Murray McGregor, 24 Jez Civil.

Exeter Chiefs 40-21 Bath

Exeter Chiefs made it three from three on Saturday with a superb 40-21 effort against a really strong Bath side, who had beaten Bristol Bears and run Leicester Tigers incredible close. Dylan Arthur, Frankie Nowell, and captain Jack King helped them to a 19 point lead before Ben Adams closed the gap a little for Bath. However Exeter almost killed the game off in a seven minute blitz through tries from Archie Fleming, Ellis Baldry, and a second from King, with Ben Hammersley converting all three for a 40-7 lead. Bath showed their stell though, scoring tries through George Shaw and Byron Gilmour to narrow the final score to 40-21. Exeter now have a chance to finish this mini-season unbeaten when they face fellow unbeaten side Gloucester this weekend.

Exeter Chiefs

15 B Hammersley, 14 F Nowell, 13 K Gentry, 12 C McCaig, 11 A Fleming, 10 H Beckerleg, 9 W Becconsall, 1 D Arthur, 2 D Shaw, 3 F Keywood, 4 A Sheridan, 5 L Bayler, 6 E Battle, 7 M Mulcahy, 8 J King (c).

Replacements: 16 M Pritchard, 17 L Newstead, 18 T Gulley, 19 M Hallam, 20 E Baldry, 21 J Hocking, 22 F Musgrove, 23 S Walker, 24 B Parsons.

Bath

15 Ciaran Donoghue, 14 Ben Adams, 13 Will Parry, 12 Ethan Hawtin, 11 Max Ashton, 10 Sam Harris, 9 Ieuan Davies, 1 JJ O’Connell-Wozniak, 2 Jac Therrien, 3 Archie Maggs, 4 Henry Blake, 5 Josh Dingley, 6 Mackenzie Graham (c), 7 Tom Ahl, 8 Arthur Green.

Replacements: 16 Max Pearce, 17 Ellis Baker, 18 Kobi Joyce, 19 George Shaw, 20 Archie McKibben, 21 Freddie Charles, 22 James Redman, 23 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, 24 Kacey Pike.

Harlequins 56-12 Worcester Warriors

Harlequins and Worcester Warriors went head to head on Saturday in two games, at U18 and U17 level, with Harlequins coming out on top in both games scoring an impressive 7 tries in the U17 game for a 45-22 victory, while in the U18 game they went one better, scoring eight tries to win 56-12. It was certainly a satisfying afternoon for academy coach Chim Gale, who used to work at the Worcester Warriors academy prior to moving to Quins. Worcester had plenty of top players on show too, including Chieck Kone in the second row, who recently earned a senior academy contract, but Harlequins were stacked with classy players, from Jamie Benson and Cassius Cleaves to Bryn Bradley and Connor Slevin, via the likes of Nathan Jibulu and Will Hobson in the pack, not to mention co-captains Jonny Green in the second row and Ludo Kolade in the centres. It was a second superb victory for Quins, who opened this mini-season with a good one over local rivals London Irish, and was a strong way to bounce back from a close defeat to Northampton Saints last time out.

Harlequins

15 Connor Slevin (Whitgift), 14 Connor Oresanya (John Fisher), 13 Ludo Kolade (King’s College, Canterbury, co-captain), 12 Bryn Bradley (Epsom College), 11 Cassius Cleaves (Wellington College), 10 Jamie Benson (Hampton), 9 Jake Murray (Whitgift), 1 Will Hobson (Wellington College), 2 Nathan Jibulu (Seaford College), 3 Ethan Clarke (Worthing College), 4 Jonny Green (Seaford College, co-captain), 5 Harry Brown (Brighton College), 6 Chris Preen (Hurstpierpoint College), 7 Seb Driscoll (Whitgift), 8 Zach Carr (Dulwich College).

Replacements: 16 Jack Doore-Palmer (Worthing College), 17 George Papa (Trinity), 18 James Saund (Milton Abbey), 19 Josh Shaw (St John’s, Leatherhead), 20 Josh Tusler (Cranleigh), 21 Christian Tait (Seaford College), 22 Lorcan O’Byrne-Nestor (Hurstpierpoint College).

Worcester Warriors

15 Ollie Smith, 14 jacob Clarke, 13 Harry Jones, 12 Archine Jones, 11 Alex Wills, 10 Elliot Tanner, 9 Tom Miles, 1 Sam Hayler, 2 Fin Thomas, 3 Ben Williams, 4 Cheick Kone, 5 Ewan Guy, 6 Theo Mayell, 7 Bob Bray, 8 Noah Leo.

Replacements: 16 Miles Walters, 17 Harvey Cuckson, 18 Alex Terry, 19 Dan Chambers, 20 Robbie May.

Saracens 31-12 Bristol Bears

Saracens made it three out of three to join Gloucester and Exeter as one of just three sides to go three from three, with Micaal McFarlane, Fancis Moore, Ehimen Osebor, Charlie Reynolds-West, and Nathan Mitchelow all crossing the whitewash at the StoneX Stadium. Bristol Bears meanwhile showed plenty of promise, with tries through Tom Simms and Tomas Gwilliam, but ultimately just could not quite keep their accuracy as high as they wanted throughout, while a three try fifteen-minute blitz in the first half helped Saracens to get a real foothold in the game, forcing Bristol to force things a little more than they might have wanted to.

Saracens

15 James Norman (Hemel Hempstead), 14 Francis Moore (Oaklands College), 13 Tyler Weekes (Sutton Valence), 12 Jasper Sorrell (Berkhamsted), 11 Micaal McFarlane (Skinners’), 10 Tobias Elliott (Berkhamsted), 9 Charlie Bracken (St Albans), 1 Ehimen Osebor (Haileybury), 2 Charlie Galligan (Sutton Valence), 3 Zack Hill (Oaklands College), 4 Casper Jack (Berkhamsted), Obinna Nkwocha (Felsted), 6 Callum McGurk (Haileybury), 7 Luca Fahy (Berkhamsted), 8 Nathan Michelow (Sutton Valence, captain).

Replacements: 16 Alex Witchell (Langley Park), 17 Freddie Chapman (Oaklands College), 18 Alfie Goater (Sutton Valence), 19 Anthony Mark (Ashford), 20 Max Eke (St George’s, Harpenden), 21 Charlie Reynolds-West (Oaklands College), 22 Max Butler (King’s Rochester), 23 Jasper Benson (Sutton Valence). Reserves: Hugo Morley (Felsted), Joe Pannese (Berkhamsted).

Bristol Bears

15 Matty Jones, 14 Gabbe Lacey, 13 Joe Jenkins, 12 Sam Worsley, 11 Ewan Skuse, 10 Jac Lloyd, 9 JJ Williams, 1 Tom Simms, 2 Isaac Bell, 3 Jimmy Halliwell, 4 Costa Galatalis, 5 George Taylor, 6 Aaron Tull, 7 Jamie Collier (c), 8 Edward Harvey.

Replacements: 16 Tomas Gwilliam, 17 Max Pullen, 18 Lewis Davies, 19 Nick Payne, 20 Charlie Cox, 21 Rhys Price, 22 Henry Hawkins, 23 Harry Leigh.

U18 Academy Results – Week 3:

Gloucester 41-17 Wasps

Leicester Tigers 38-34 Sale Sharks

Northampton Saints 31-19 London Irish

Yorkshire Academy 29-7 Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs 40-21 Bath

Harlequins 56-12 Worcester Warriors

Saracens 31-12 Bristol Bears

Week 2

Bristol Bears 22-24 Exeter Chiefs

Gloucester 31-17 Worcester Warriors

Bath 21-28 Leicester Tigers

London Irish 7-15 Saracens 

Northampton Saints 22-15 Harlequins

Sale Sharks 36-17 Yorkshire Academy

Newcastle Falcons 68-22 Wasps

Week 1

Bath 33-26 Bristol Bears

Leicester Tigers 15-18 Gloucester

London Irish 20-45 Harlequins

Saracens 34-31 Northampton Saints

Wasps 21-28 Yorkshire Academy

Worcester Warriors 22-50 Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons 34-14 Sale Sharks

Image: Isabella Murray

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