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Match Report: Exeter Chiefs U18 19 Worcester Warriors U18 44

The Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy Finals Day try-fest continued as Worcester Warriors and Exeter Chiefs scored 11 times between them as the West Midlands club ran out 44-19 winners in the fifth-versus-sixth play-off game.

Wasps and Leicester Tigers set the tone in the first match of the afternoon at Allianz Park – the third-versus-fourth play-off – as they crossed the whitewash ten times and Exeter and Worcester managed to go one better.

Worcester’s Tom Ford and Exeter’s Sam Daly exchanged early scores before Max Craven (2), Tom Dodd and Stan Mayne gave the Warriors a healthy 27-7 half-time lead.

Aaron Chapman and Sam Brown gave the Exeter fans reason to cheer after the break but tries from Worcester’s Freddie Hemmingway, Jacob Ham and Robbie Smith meant it was a memorable afternoon for the Warriors.

Worcester started brightly and immediately had Exeter on the rack. Within five minutes of forward pressure, it eventually told as captain Tom Ford was able to drive over from close range, although James Shillcock was unable to convert.

The Chiefs wasted no time in responding, claiming possession from a lineout deep in the Worcester 22, they made good ground around the fringes until Sam Daly burrowed over from two metres out, with Harvey Skinner’s extras putting them 7-5 in front.

Blindside Ben Fowles’ searing break then took Worcester within 15 metres, the ball was quickly recycled and moved wide, Ford broke and off-loaded for full-back Max Craven to pick a clever line to go over in the corner; Shillcock was again off target with the kick.

The next try came when Chiefs’ indiscipline gifted the Warriors a lineout close to the try line and their powerful pack made Exeter pay with a textbook driving lineout and number eight Tom Dodd grabbed their third score, with Shillcock adding the extras. 

And there was still time for Worcester to grab another two tries before the interval through Mayne and Craven as they went into the break 27-7 ahead.

The number of scoring chances reduced at the start of the second half but after a period of pressure – and a couple of penalties – Worcester moved to 32-7 after a rolling maul was finished off by Hemmingway.

Exeter kept their slim hopes of a comeback alive when a fine break and offload by Skinner released Chapman to score, with the fly-half adding the extras to make it 32-14.

But it was Worcester who recorded the next try when Ham went over in the corner after a few phases of play.

A lovely pass released Brown to cross for Exeter but soon after Worcester went over once again following a superb break by Will Butler and he sent Smith in to complete the scoring.

Exeter Chiefs: Williams (Lowe, 58); Morrish, Chapman (Brown, 55), Matthews, Cant; Skinner (Bagwell, 61), Snow; Wright (Kenny, 50), Symons (Bayet, 52), Street (Hilliar, 50), Culverhouse, Swain, Daly (Head, 55), Gibson (Fethey, 60), Wright.
 
Worcester Warriors: Craven; Hearle (King, 60), Smith, Butler, Mayne (Ham, 45); Allsopp (Morgan, 57), Shillcock (Hollingsworth, 65); Page (Morris, 55), Cutting (Newman, 55), Rigby (Weston, 52), Hill, Scott, Fowles (Hemmingway, 28), Ford, Dodd. 
 
Scorers

Exeter
Tries: Daly, Chapman, Brown
Conversions: Skinner 2
 
Worcester
Tries: Ford, Craven 2, Dodd, Mayne, Hemmingway, Ham, Smith
Conversion: Shillcock, Morgan
 

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