Under 18s defeated at reigning champions Tigers
Date: 7 Jan 2019
By Jack Davies
Wasps Under 18s fought valiantly but were defeated by an impressive Leicester Tigers Under 34-7 in the third round of the Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy League at Oval Park on Saturday.
The game started evenly with some stunning attacking play from both sides, however, it was the hosts who took the lead after a flowing passing move resulted in Sam Edwards finishing under the posts.
Wasps responded with some excellent phase-play of their own which eventually led to a Tom Bacon try following some good work from the forwards.
Leicester however reacted well to this with a Harry Glynn penalty and were even further ahead with tries from Sam Costelow and Ronnie du Randt. This gave them a healthy advantage going into the half-time interval with the score 22-7 in their favour.
Second-half tries from Joe Browning and Leo Gilliland sealed the victory for Leicester Tigers, however, there was much to be admired about the defensive efforts from Wasps who were playing a team that had accumulated 119 points in the first two rounds.
The home side took the lead in the sixth minute through scrum half Edwards after being camped in the Wasps 22. The try was converted by fly half Harry Glynn.
Following some prolonged phase-play with hard ball-carrying from forwards Zac Nearchou and Alex Pleasants, Wasps came back into the game with an excellent inside line from full back Bacon who went on to score, after a superb pass from the returning Alfie Barbeary. Henry Mortimer delivered the goods with a successful conversion making it all square.
Some ill-discipline following the restart led to a kickable Leicester penalty in the Wasps half and Glynn converted making the score 10-7 in favour of the Tigers. This was then followed with an unfortunate interception try from Costelow after Wasps were seeming to make progress after winning a penalty in their own 22.
The lead was further increased after a blindside kick from scrum half Sam Edwards led to some excellent handling with Du Randt scoring the third Leicester try.
The Wasps boys didn’t let their heads drop with a storming 20-metre line-break from Anjo Ademuwagun leading to Wasps entering the opposing 22. However, the ferocious defence from the home team resulted in a knock-on and a turnover in possession. A long kick downfield and a successful chase meant Leicester were awarded a five-metre scrum. Wasps however were up to the task with some big hits including one from the influential Bacon which dislodged the ball meaning the Academy boys could go into half-time with a fighting chance.
After a particularly scrappy start to the second-half as both teams started to tire, it was again the hosts who scored with their fourth try of the afternoon coming through Browning after some fast-flowing rugby.
Although a period of sustained pressure followed this try, Wasps were unable to add to their score and Leicester sealed the contest with a final try through winger Gilliland.
This was an effort Wasps’ youngsters could be proud of against the reigning champions who are unbeaten so far this season.
Wasps U18s will be looking to get back to winning ways next weekend with a trip to Yorkshire Carnegie in Round 4.
Wasps U18 | 15 Tom Bacon, 14 Ben Edeh, 13 Toby Baldwin, 12 Rekeiti Ma'asi White, 11 Jude Williams, 10 Evan Mitchell, 9 Henry Mortimer; 1 Zac Nearchou, 2 Alfie Barbeary, 3 Alex Pleasants, 4 Anjo Ademuwagun, 5 Mario Pichardie Garcia, 6 Alfred Mawdsley, 7 Daniel Eckersley, 8 James Tunney (c)
Replacements | 16 James Coombs, 17 Alex Sabin, 18 Jordan Cordice, 19 Nic Jacobsen, 20 Greg Fisilau, 21 Ollie Monye, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Dylan Brownson
06m | Edwards try 5-0
07m | Glynn con 7-0
10m | Bacon try 7-5
11m | Mortimer con 7-7
13m | Glynn pen 10-7
19m | Costelow try 15-7
20m | Glynn con 17-7
25m | Du Randt try 22-7
45m | Browning try 27-7
55m | Gilliland try 32-7
56m | Costelow con 34-7