Marek Churcher predicts a bright future for his Exeter Chiefs U18 side despite losing out to an exceptional Worcester Warriors in the fifth-versus-sixth play-off at the Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy Finals Day.
Churcher’s Chiefs shared 11 tries with Worcester in a brilliant exhibition of running rugby on the Allianz Park pitch.
Worcester and Exeter exchanged early tries but in the end Warriors ran away with the game and ended up as 44-19 victors.
"You get better from experiences like that so there will be players that come through in one or two years’ time into the first team from this team today," said Churcher.
"We’re not going to get too hung up on the fact that they have lost. We want players to become better individuals.
"The boys are disappointed but every experience is a learning experience and they will move away from this and will become better rugby players because of what has happened today.
"It is how they go about holding themselves after defeat and how they go about holding themselves after a win.
"At the end of the day it is a brilliant tool, it is a brilliant development competition and the boys will only get better because of it."
The contest saw the teams who finished third in the Northern and Southern Conferences go head-to-head.
After Worcester’s Tom Ford and Exeter’s Sam Daly swapped scores, Max Craven grabbed a brace, while Tom Dodd and Stan Mayne both crossed to put Warriors in command at half-time.
In the second-half, Exeter’s replacements brought life to their challenge – Aaron Chapman and Sam Brown both crossed for Chiefs – but Worcester tries from Freddie Hemmingway, Jacob Ham and Robbie Smith meant their victory was rarely in doubt.
Churcher said: "We are disappointed obviously, the boys put in a hell of a lot of effort this year. We’ve just come up against a very good Worcester team and they’ve beaten us in every aspect of the game.
"When our bench came on in the second half they added real impetus, but to be fair to Worcester that is probably one of the better teams we’ve come up against this year.
"We’ll get these guys together again next week and have a review of the season, of this game and look towards building for next year."