Week three of the u/18 Academy League did not provide many surprises other than the early leaders had to work much harder to retain their unbeaten status and place at the top of the league table.
Leicester Tigers remained after three league matches this time beating Wasp 34-7 in a very one-sided match.
Newcastle in for their first win after two matches in this 2018/19 leaugue.
Northampton opened with a burst three tries in the first half hour before Warriors hit back with two tries of their own either side of half-time.
Warriors’ Academy Manager Chim Gale said: “This is developmental for these young junior players and the level does go up when you get to this stage. We need to turn up with more energy, we were flat from the start. That being said, Northampton were outstanding in how they wanted to attack. There are still three more games left to play, and although it is nice to win it’s not all about that and hopefully we can start to see some improvements going into the next three games.”
It was Gloucester who was first on the board through George Barton who slotted a penalty after 14 minutes. Within five minutes Gloucester struck again with an 80-metre run winger Ollie Barton to extend their lead 8-0. Both sides had their moments in the first half with Gloucester leading 15-5 at the break.
The second half saw Bath dominating the scoreboard and with 20 minutes left on the clock, they were trailing 18-17 after two great tries. Gloucester widened the gap with a try but Bath ended with a surge of sustained pressure, a series of pick and go’s in the Gloucester red zone leading to a yellow card for the hosts. Gabriel Goss who sneaked in over the try line on the left wing for Bath made it a one-point game. The final kick from out wide fell just short with Gloucester clinching a narrow 23-22 victory.
Bristol Academy U18s slipped to a narrow defeat in an entertaining clash versus Exeter Chiefs U18s on Saturday despite a spirited second-half fightback.
Bristol Head Coach Hall said: “We scored three good tries and showed plenty of invention in our attack, but we came up just short in the end. It’s disappointing to lose, but the effort and commitment of the players were excellent and it’s a positive step in the right direction.”
Harlequins Under-18s scored two tries in each half to overcome 26-12 Saracens Under-18s at Allianz Park. Sarries U18 Backs Coach James Tirrell said: “We had some great energy in defence and created some opportunities in attack. Quins were a good side but we gave them a couple of gift tries. That’s what’s good about this academy league, the competition is high and the learning moments are fierce. The positive comes next week when we can test our learning against Irish.