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Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, London Irish and Wasps through to Under-18 Academy Competition Finals Day

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There are still loose ends to be tied up in the race for the Under-18 Academy Competition Finals Day on 15 February but Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, London Irish and Wasps have all booked their places.

Depending on the outcome of the Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks game – to be played this Saturday 6 February – two spots in the Northern Conference are yet to be confirmed.

Both Gloucester and London Irish ensured they will head to Allianz Park with perfect records in the competition after completing their sixth win from six games last weekend.

In the Northern Conference, the Cherry and Whites fought back from going behind 14-0 in the first 10 minutes at Northampton.

Harry Robinson, Tom Seabrook and Harry Randall responded to put tries on the board for Gloucester but Gregor Haldane, James Grayson, Ben Kelland and Faysal Olabooye had put Saints 28-21 up with little more than 15 minutes to go.

However, Saints would not score again and Randall completed his try-double after Morgan Morris had crossed – with Gloucester emerging 36-28 winners.

It was even closer between London Irish and Saracens, but the hosts claimed a 27-24 triumph thanks to a late penalty from Tom Parton.

It was nip-and-tuck all game – with both sides scoring three tries apiece – but the boot of Parton settled it, having scored three conversions and two penalties.

Parton’s kicking cost Saracens a spot on Finals Day, as it dropped them into fourth and ensured Wasps and Chiefs would be joining London Irish from the Southern Conference.

Exeter certainly held up their end of the bargain, piling the points onto rivals Bath Rugby – in large part down to four-try hero Charlie Wright.

The flanker was joined on the scoresheet by Sam Daly, AJ Cant, Aaron Bagwell and Aaron Chapman as Exeter emerged 48-22 winners at Sandy Park.

Wasps had wrapped up their fixtures the week before, and maintained their place in second due to the Saracens’ defeat.

Back in the Northern Conference and Sale Sharks kept their hopes of a Finals Day spot alive after George Williams, Sam Moore, Cameron Redpath and Charlie Pozniak all dotted down in a 26-7 win over Yorkshire Carnegie.

Currently in fourth, Sale must beat Northampton in their final game to catch up with either or both of Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers, who are three points and five points ahead respectively.

But Leicester ensured that they will either be second or third seed from the Northern Conference after putting Newcastle Falcons to the sword 34-7.

There were six different try-scorers in total for Leicester, who also finished with the least amount of points conceded across both conferences – 63.

Elsewhere, Bristol Rugby had not won a game in the competition this season but edged Harlequins by 20-19 to ensure they finished with a flourish.

The Premiership Rugby U18 Academy Competition Finals Day will take place at Allianz Park on Monday 15 February from 12.30pm to 6pm. Entrance is free of charge.

U18 Academy Competition Finals Day Fixtures
 
12.30pm: Wasps v 2nd Place North Conference
2.30pm: Exeter Chiefs v 3rd Place North Conference
4.30pm: London Irish v Gloucester Rugby

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