Match Report: Sale Sharks U18s 12-22 Wasps U18s

Following on from two good performances in the opening two rounds of the Academy league, which yielded a full compliment of five points from each, Wasps made the trip to Manchester to face Sale Sharks.

The Sharks had won their only game so far and are considered to be one of the strongest teams in the competition, so Wasps knew they were in for a tough test.

Wasps started brightly, putting together some good phases of play and moving the ball quickly to the wide channels, with Murray Bellis making good ground in the open spaces. 

Wasps continued to jab away at the Sale defensive line but handling errors or the Sharks efficient work at the breakdown denied Wasps the opportunity to put points on the board.

Eventually the pressure told and following a good carry by Tom Willis, who was driven to within a metre of the line, Jacob Umaga fed Alfie Barbeary who managed to carry a couple of defenders over the line for the opening score in the corner. The conversion was narrowly wide from Umaga and the score remained 0-5 to Wasps.

When Sale did get possession they were a threat but Wasps kept their shape and were then able to challenge with good effect at the breakdown.

Wasps second score was an excellent individual effort from Will Porter. Following strong runs from Will Simonds and Matt Wells, the scrum-half broke from a ruck 40 metres out. He showed good pace to round the fullback with an intelligent running line and had the strength to fend off the cover defence to score under the posts. Umaga converted to make the score 0-12.

With the end of the half approaching Sale had one final opportunity to get points in the board with a line out deep in the Wasps 22. The lineout was overthrown and Ed Adamson collected the loose ball and took play out of the 22. Wasps attacking intent was perfectly illustrated as quick ball was transferred between backs and forwards before Bellis raced down the touchline into the opposing 22. Willis appeared at speed from nowhere to cut through the defence to score under the posts and with Umaga adding the extras the halftime score was 19-0 to Wasps. 

Wasps started the second half brightly with strong carries by Willis and Simonds but were unable to find the killer pass. Sale hit back with a well controlled drive which Wasps were unable to disrupt and Sharks number 8 Sam Moore dotted down for the Manchester club's first try, which was duly converted by Kieran Wilkinson. 

Ed Adamson claimed the following kick off and a powerful carry by Joe Tunney drew a penalty at the resulting ruck. Umaga added the three points from just outside the 22 and Wasps led 7-22. The game then became a slightly fractured affair with errors preventing either side from being able to stress their opponents to the point of breaking.

Sale claimed a second try with eight minutes to play through Nic Dolly. which was unconverted and Wasps were able to see out the remainder of the game without any serious threat to their line.

Head coach James Honeyben was pleased with the overall performance in particular some of the attacking intent in the first half.

"We put some very good phases of play together and looked dangerous with ball in hand. As players and coaches we understand it is not easy to win away in this league and we are pleased that the boys have got past that problem. We look forward to meeting up this week to learn and improve on some of the parts of the game that we want to be slightly better at next week.

Wasps play Newcastle Falcons on Saturday 21st January at Broadstreet RFC 6:30pm KO. We would love it if you could come down and support the boys. 

Wasps U18s team that faced Sale Sharks U18s: 
15. Will Simonds 
14. Taju Atta 
13. Murray Bellis
12. Sam Spink 
11. Matt Wells 
10. Jacob Umaga
9. Will Porter (c)
1. Joe Salkeld
2. Alfie Barbeary
3. Osman Dimen
4. Ehize Ehizode
5. Ed Adamson 
6. Joe Tunney
7. James Seabrook 
8. Tom Willis

16. Tom Guthrie
17. George Probyn
18. Paddy Harris
19. Alfred Mawdsley 
20. Silas Pill 
21. Tom Bishop
22. Finn Pietersen
23. Aaron O'Sullivan 

U18 Academy Fixtures and Results:

30th December 2016- Wasps U18s 28-17 Worcester Warriors U18s

7th January 2017- Yorkshire Carnegie U18s 14-38 Wasps U18s

14th January 2017- Sale Sharks U18s 12-22 Wasps U18s

21st January 2017- Wasps U18s v Newcastle Falcons U18s @Broadstreet RFC 6:30pm KO.

28th January 2017- Leicester Tigers U18s v Wasps U18s

11th February 2017- Wasps U18s v Northampton Saints U18s

18th February 2017- U18s Academy Finals Day

To see the all of the Academy fixtures this season please click here.