The 2018 U18 Academy League kicked off this weekend with six games over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
As ever, the league is split into two conferences of seven, North and South. Compromising of the twelve Gallagher Premiership clubs plus London Irish and Yorkshire Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship.
That gives us seven rounds of games, with one side in each conference having a bye each week, ahead of the U18 Academy League final on Sunday 17th February.
Yorkshire Carnegie kicked things off in the Northern Conference with a Saturday morning game at home to Worcester Warriors, with the hosts capturing a 31-12 victory to start off their campaign with a bang.
Later in the day came one of the most hotly anticipated games of the weekend as champions Leicester Tigers travelled to Kingston Park to take on a Newcastle Falcons side whose Academy has been looking outstanding in recent times.
Leicester put in a stunning display through to secure a dominant 66-14 victory that included a hat-trick for winger Joe Browning as they Midlanders lay down a marker that suggests that they must again be title contenders.
The Northern Conference action was rounded off on Sunday when the much-celebrated Sale Sharks academy hosted Wasps at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sale showed exactly why they are so highly spoken of as they secured a highly impressive 43-17 victory over the Wasps side, who were without inspirational Bloxham hooker Alfie Barbeary, who is playing in the A-side in the Premiership Shield this weekend.
Gloucester and Saracens kicked off the entire of round 1 at Hartpury College on Friday night. These two outstanding sides had a cracking contest, Gloucester coming out 28-12 victors with number 8 Jack Clement securing an impressive hat-trick.
Saturday saw the action head to South West London, where London Irish did their outstanding academy reputation no harm at all as they beat Exeter Chiefs 36-20.
Meanwhile at the Surrey Sports Park Harlequins hosted Bristol Bears and put in the sort of performance that will have had the other sides in the conference taking real note. In horrendous conditions, they scored eight tries, including scores for captain Sam Riley and fullback Louis Lynagh.
The next round of games takes place this coming weekend, with Northampton Saints and Bath entering the fray, Saints host Leicester in the Northern Conference, with Wasps v Worcester and Yorkshire v Sale the other two games in the conference.
Bath meanwhile host Exeter Chiefs in the Southern Conference, with Bristol Bears, hosting Gloucester and Harlequins welcoming London Irish for a big South West London derby.
U18 Academy League Round 1 Results:
Newcastle Falcons 14-66 Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks 43-17 Wasps
Yorkshire Carnegie 31-12 Worcester Warriors
Bye Week – Northampton Saints
Gloucester 28-12 Saracens
Harlequins 48-0 Bristol Bears
London Irish 36-20 Exeter Chiefs
Bye Week – Bath
Article by: http://www.fifteenrugby.com