Reece Dunn insists that defeat at the Premiership Rugby Under-18s Finals Day doesn’t take the gloss off a fantastic season for his Gloucester Rugby teammates.
The Cherry & Whites were unbeaten after their six conference games to earn them a shot at the title against Leicester Tigers on Sunday at Allianz Park.
And though Gloucester had to settle for second after a 43-21 defeat on Sunday, full-back Dunn reflected on a hugely positive season overall.
“It’s outstanding from the boys from the start of the academy season to come here and beat Saracens at the final whistle, and then go unbeaten from there,” he said.
“We beat some good teams along the way – Harlequins away and finishing against Bristol – it was a fantastic achievement in itself.
“It was absolutely incredible (to be unbeaten). To get 29 out of 30 points on the way is pretty good going from the boys. It was just amazing.
Gutted to end the season just dropping short, but have made some great mates & memories with the @GlosRugby_Acad boys over the last 5 years, Thank you all 🔴⚪️❤️
— Jake Morris (@JakexMorris) March 11, 2018
“It was a tough game. We always knew what Leicester were going to bring to us. It was going to be physical with the boys up front.
“We just didn’t adapt to it early enough. We got a foothold in the game in the last few minutes but it wasn’t enough by then.”
Gloucester’s performances in the Premiership Rugby Under-18s competition have not gone unnoticed, with a number of players earning international age-group honours.
Super proud of these two today along with Cam,James and Josh representing the school and @GlosRugby_Acad throughout the season and in the Academy Final.
In every facet of their development, they have delivered the 3 values of the Rugby Club-👏🏻💪#commitment#workrate#humility pic.twitter.com/Up20W3OH6K
— CheltCollegeSport (@CheltCollSport) March 11, 2018
And Dunn says it was a source of great pride for him to see his teammates flourish throughout the season.
He added: “It’s been unreal, especially for a lot of the young boys. We’ve gone from having a few in the England set up to 12 – seven in the Under-18s and five in the Under-17s.
“The boys are learning very quickly. I’m very proud of the boys and hopefully they can represent us well in the coming weeks and fill the jerseys with pride.
“We’ve got a few boys going into the senior academy next year and we’ll use this as a springboard to learn from it, put it behind us, and go again in pre-season with the seniors.”