REPORT | Sale Sharks U18 43-17 Wasps U18

Date: 17 Dec 2018

By Jack Davies

A battling effort from Wasps Under 18s was in vain as Sale Sharks Under 18s defeated them 43-17 in the first round of the Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy League at Platt Lane on Sunday.

An exciting start to the game saw some great attacking play from both sides but it was Sale who took a healthy advantage in at half-time through tries from Raffi Quirke and Tom Curtis.

Another try from the impressive Quirke and a score from Dan Kelly led to Sale extending their lead to 29-3 before an excellent response from Rekeiti Ma’asi White to give Wasps hope of a comeback.

James Harper went over to seal it for Sale but Ben Edeh scored an excellent breakaway score from the halfway line before Tom Roebuck went over two minutes from time.

The home side went in front almost immediately through a Curtis penalty following good pressure from kick-off.

However, Wasps came back into the game and after some excellent work from captain James Tunney in the midfield, which gave fly half Evan Mitchell the opportunity to explore the opposition 22. After an excellent kick from Mitchell and an outstanding break from Dan Eckersley, Wasps were presented with a kickable penalty and Henry Mortimer delivered making it all square at 3-3.

Ten minutes before half-time, a sniping break from the Sale scrum half Quirke led to the first try of the match which was backed up quickly through a Curtis score extending the home side’s lead to 14 points. This was a killer blow just before half-time and gave Sale some momentum going into the second-half.

Following some great work from the Sale forwards after the restart, Quirke got his second of the afternoon putting our opposition further ahead at 22-3.

Wasps responded with a couple of excellent breaks in midfield from Zac Nearchou and Tom Bacon which resulted in being camped in the opposing 22. However, an unfortunate knock-on gifted Sale possession back and some ill-discipline at the breakdown led to penalties which allowed the opposition to relieve the pressure. They quickly moved the ball upfield and scored their fourth try of the afternoon through Kelly. An A Curtis conversion made the score 29-3.

Wasps responded well to this and were again camped in the Sale 22, this time they were successful with Ma’asi White powering over and Jack Hughes adding the extras. The game started to open up with line breaks from both sides putting extreme pressure on each other’s defence.

It was Sale who next scored through Harper making the score 36-10 but Wasps again showed great tenacity in response to conceding and after excellent work from the pack in an attempt to retrieve the ball following the restart, Edeh was presented with a loose ball where he successfully outsprinted two Sale defenders to score under the posts and with Jack Hughes being successful with the conversion.

Although a period of sustained pressure following this try, Wasps were unable to add to their score and Sale sealed the contest with a final try through winger Roebuck a couple of minutes from time.

It was a valiant effort from the Under 18s against a particularly well-drilled Sale side but they have a great opportunity to turn things around on Saturday 22 December as they host Worcester Warriors U18 at Henley Rugby Club.

Wasps U18 | 15 Tom Bacon, 14 Toby Baldwin, 13 Rekeiti Ma'asi White, 12 Tane Dunn, 11 Jude Williams, 10 Evan Mitchell, 9 Henry Mortimer; 1 James Coombs, 2 Zac Nearchou, 3 Alex Sabin, 4 Anjo Ademuwagun, 5 Alfred Mawdsley, 6 Mario Pichardie Garcia, 7 Daniel Eckersley, 8 James Tunney (c)

Replacements | 16 Arun Watkins, 17 Alfred Beckett, 18 Gabriel Munro, 19 Ollie Kenyon, 20 Ben Pope, 21 Ollie Monye, 22 Jack Hughes, 23 Ben Edeh

02m | Curtis pen 3-0
18m | Mortimer pen 3-3
25m | Quirke try 8-3
26m | Curtis con 10-3
32m | Curtis try 15-3
33m | Curtis con 17-3
41m | Quirke try 22-3
56m | Kelly try 27-3
57m | Curtis con 29-3
58m | Ma’asi White try 29-8           
59m | Hughes con 29-10
61m | Harper try 34-10
62m | Curtis con 36-10
63m | Edeh try 36-15
64m | Hughes con 36-17
68m | Roebuck try 41-17
69m | Curtis con 43-17