The final round of the U18 Academy League takes place this weekend, with the fight for those Top 3 places in each conference very much on.
The reason those Top 3 spots are so key is that the six sides finishing in those places will head to the U18 Academy League Finals Day at Allianz Park on Sunday 17th February. The top side in each conference will meet in the final, second from each will play off for third place, and third in each will play for fifth place overall.
The Northern Conference's Leicester Tigers who have a bye this weekend has already their number 1 spot and will defend their title they won in 2018. In the Southern Conference Bath and Gloucester are tied on 20 league points with Bath maybe the favourite to end top of the log as their points difference is a lot better.
Three games last weekend were postponed due to the weather, Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers in the Northern Conference and Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins in the Southern Conference. The two games from the northern conference have been declared draws, while a decision on the southern conference game is yet to be taken.
Carnegie comes back from a bye while Saints lost 13-50 to Wasps u/18. Nothing more than pride to play for with both sides sitting in the bottom part on the log.
The bad weather did cost the u/18 Sale Sharks valuable log points as their game against Newcastle Falcons was declared a draw after it could not be played due to bad weather. However, they should win their last fixture against the Warriors with ease as the two teams just above them on the log are playing each other. Sale Sharks should be able to either finish at number 2 or 3 ensuring them a place in the playoffs.
Newcastle Falcons could cry foul if they lose against Wasp this weekend as the weather-enforced draw against Sale Sharks did cost them valuable points on the log. If they lose this game Sale Sharks will pass them on the log to move forward to the playoffs. This should be the match of the weekend and will be a very close affair.
Gloucester should not struggle to win this one against Chiefs who is second from the bottom of the log. A win with a bonus point could promote them to the number 1 spot on the Southern Conference's log. However, Bath's point difference is 83 points better than that of Gloucester and only a loss or a win with 4 log points will enable Gloucester to claim the number 1 spot.
London Irish cost Gloucester their unbeaten record last weekend (27-22) and Bath must not take them lightly. Bath themselves had a good win against Saracens last weekend (29-21) and are maybe just the favourites. Bath needs to win this with a bonus point to make sure that they end at number 1 in the Southern Conference.
Nothing much but pride to play for here as both teams chances to reach the playoffs is zero.