Match Report: Wasps U18s 28-29 Exeter Chiefs U18s

Wasps' Under 18s finished fourth at this year's Under 18s Academy Finals Day at Sixways on Thursday, with Exeter snatching a 29-28 win in the third place play-off.  

Will Porter’s try had Wasps in front within a minute, but Exeter led 19-17 thanks largely to fly half Gwyn Parks’ impressive 19-point kicking display.

The second half was a tight affair with each team’s hooker scoring tries, but it was Parks' accuracy from the kicking tee that ensured the Chiefs finished with a one-point win and third spot.

Wasps opened their account as scrum-half and captain Will Porter ran in from the halfway line.

He dodged a couple of tackles before crossing over under the posts, leaving an easy conversion for Jacob Umaga.

Two impressive penalties from the boot of Exeter fly-half Parks reduced the deficit to a single point.

But Wasps scored their second try from the restart as a fine move finished with Sam Spink offloading to full-back Matt Wells who went over and Umaga kicked his second conversion.

An infringement at the ruck gave Parks the chance to kick his third penalty of the afternoon to make the score 14-9 before the Chiefs took the lead.

A driving maul from the line-out moved Exeter to within five metres of the try-line and eventually prop Danny Southworth powered over.

Parks maintained his 100 per cent record from the kicking tee to put Exeter ahead before Umaga and Parks exchanged penalties as Exeter led 19-17 at the break.

Some terrific defending denied Wasps winger Brendan Clark in the corner, but Umaga soon kicked his second penalty to put Wasps in front by a point early in the second period.

Exeter hooker Ben Phillips touched down following a pick and go with Parks converting to put them ahead 26-20, before his Wasps opposite number Alfie Barbeary crossed over at the opposite end.

Umaga missed the conversion but made amends with a long-range penalty shortly after to put Wasps ahead 28-26.

But Parks kicked his fifth penalty to put Exeter a point ahead with ten minutes remaining and the Chiefs held on for the narrow victory.

Wasps U18s: Matt Wells, Taju Atta, Murray Bellis, Sam Spink, Brendan Clark, Jacob Umaga, Will Porter (c), Joe Salkeld, Alfie Barbeary, George Strainge, Harry Sayer, Joe Tunney, Alfred Mawdsley, James Seabrook, Tom Willis.

Replacements: Tom Guthrie, Jarod Leat, Paddy Harris, Frazer Kiff, Silas Pill, Tom Bishop, Finn Pietersen, Aaron O’Sullivan.