Match Report: Leicester U18s 43 Gloucester U18s 21
Leicester Tigers won their first ever Premiership Rugby Under-18s Academy title with a dominant 43-21 victory over Gloucester.
The Tigers started strongly, with Freddie Steward and Cameron Jordan scoring before Jack Reeves responded for Gloucester.
Steward then added a second try and Andre Dunn scored a wonderful effort of his own to make it 29-7 at half-time.
Henri Lavin and George Martin all but sealed the win with tries in the second half, although Gloucester did fight back through a well-taken score from Louis Rees-Zammit and an Alex Hunt try.
Leicester raced out of the blocks, taking a 15-0 lead within 20 minutes.
Steward finished off a passing move down the back line, following a period of sustained pressure from the Tigers’ pack.
Sam Costelow then added a penalty before Jordan went in under the posts.
Reeves thought he had scored in reply, only for the linesman to flag for a foot in touch as he scampered down the left wing.
There was then a pause in play as an injury to Gloucester’s record-breaking points scorer George Barton saw him stretchered off to applause from the crowd.
The break seemed to rejuvenate Gloucester, with Reeves crashing over almost immediately and substitute fly-half Tommy Mathews adding the conversion.
Steward then doubled his tally with a brilliant kick and chase as Leicester began to pull away.
The try of the game soon followed as Dunn danced through the Gloucester defence, stepping past three defenders before forcing his way over under the posts.
In the second half, Lavin scored early after strong work from Leicester’s forwards again to give the Tigers a seemingly unassailable lead.
Costelow continued to add points with the boot, even attempting a penalty from inside his own half, which fell a metre short, as Leicester closed in on their first ever Premiership Rugby Under-18s Academy title.
Their sixth try came from second row Martin, exploiting a gap in the Gloucester defence to break through and give Costelow an easy conversion.
Gloucester did put some more points on the board towards the end of the game as Jack Curtis broke from inside his own half to feed Louis Rees-Zammit, who showed a clean pair of heels to race in to score.
Alex Hunt scored a second consolation for Gloucester, the forward pack muscling over in the corner, but it was too little, too late and Leicester came away with the trophy.
Leicester Tigers: Steward, Godfrey, Du Randt (Wager 46), Dunn (Fewtrell 48), Poland, Costelow, Law (Yarnell 44), Lines (Maxwell 50), Harding (Gibson 41), Whitcombe (Latham 41), Martin, Jordan (Koelman 48), Lavin, Gough, Smith (Purcell 41)
Gloucester Rugby: Dunn, Stanton, Reeves, Marsh (Curtis 57), Morris (Rees-Zammit 50) Barton (Mathews 20), Varney, Adkins (O’Malley 60), Stretch (Nelson 60), Bartlett (Hunt 57), Tarbuck (Holiday 39), Howard, Tonks, Fissenden (Gray 53), Clement
Tries: Steward 2, Jordan, Dunn, Lavin, Martin
Conversions: Costelow 5
Tries: Reeves, Rees-Zammit, Hunt
Conversions: Mathews 3