Leicester Tigers U18 sealed third place in the U18 Academy Compeition with a stunning second half display against Wasps U18.
Tigers went into the half time break six points clear at 13-7, after two Tom Hardwick penalties had given them an advantage, with the try count level, Sam Yawayawa scoring for Leicester, and Ollie Brown doing the job for Wasps, with Conor Eastgate converting.
The ‘wisdom’ around the touchlines suggested things would be much the same in the second half, little suggested that Leicester would go charging ahead in the manner that they did.
That they certainly did though, with Jacob Umaga, who moved from centre to fly half in the second half, having a huge influence on the game. The commanding midfielder scored two tries and converted a further six.
The scoring started almost right from the off, Sam Grahamshaw at blindside running a storming line, which the would-be Wasps tacklers simply could not handle.
Suddenly that narrow 13-7 gap was already 20-7 with Umaga’s conversion, and Umaga was converting a try of his own just a few moments later as the gap expanded to 27-7.
If there was a try to remember this game by though, it came fourteen minutes into the second half as Tigers wing Levi Davis collected the ball in his own half after some superb handling from the Leicester midfield. Spotting just a hint of some space, the squat winger burst away down the left hand touchline, running fully fifty metres to score a wonderful try.
Another beauty swiftly followed though, this time it was born and made it Oakham, as Matt Riddington, on the left hand side, spotted a big gap over on the right and lofted the ball into Umaga’s path, like a wonderful seven-iron. Umaga’s task was simple, collect and score, and he did just that, finishing off with a lovely conversion.
At 39-7 up, that was the game as good as over, despite having twenty minutes left on the clock. Wasps were not for giving up though, and in particular, Jacob Turner.
Turner bagged a brace, though the one Wasps weapon that was a real menace to Leicester all day. His first came after twenty five minutes of the second half, with the second coming just a couple of minutes shy of the final whiste.
Unfortunately for Wasps though, on both occasions, Leicester hit back almost immediately, first through Riddington, who this time was fed by Umaga in a reversal of roles, before right at the very end substitute James Martin came absolutely crashing though to seal the half century for Leicester and, after a second half like that, it was richly deserved.
Tigers were simply outstanding in the second half, clinical, taking every chance they had, committed, and extremely vocal. In all, a thoroughly professional looking performance, and one thoroughly deserving of third place in the U18 Academy Competition.
Full Time: Wasps U18 19-53 Leicester Tigers U18
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15 Charlton Kerr, 14 Harry Hanley, 13 Caleb Shepherd, 12 Sam Spink, 11 Ollie Brown, 10 Connor Eastgate (c), 9 Will Porter, 1 George Probyn, 2 Jamie Cox, 3 George Strainge, 4 Jack Holford, 5 Ehize Ehizode, 6 James Seabrook, 7 Suen Coker, 8 Jacob Turner.
Replacements: 16 Tom Guthrie, 17 Joe Salkeld, 18 Osman Dimen, 19 Joe Tunney, 20 Ted Pullin, 21 Alex Crocker, 22 Finn Pietersen, 23 Callum Sirker.
15 Harry Simmons, 14 Sam Yawyawa, 13 Matt Riddington, 12 Jacob Umaga, 11 Levi Davis, 10 Tom Hardwick, 9 Ben White (c), 1 Oscar Harper, 2 Harry Mahoney, 3 Jake Charters, 4 Toby Hutchinson, 5 Sam Lewis, 6 Sam Grahamslaw, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Zak Poole.
Replacements: 16 Mason Coulam, 17 Tom Greatorex-Sanderson, 18 Conor Sherry, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Andrew Bywater, 21 James Martin, 22 Jake Duffield, 23 Andrew Brown.