Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy League Review: Leicester and Gloucester preserve 100% win records
Leicester Tigers and Gloucester Rugby maintained their winning starts to their respective Premiership Rugby Under-18 Academy League campaigns to stay top of the Northern and Southern Conferences.
Round Four left only two teams with perfect records as both Leicester and Gloucester won by slender margins, and of those two, it is only the reigning champions who can boast a perfect bonus-point record.
A first defeat of the season for Harlequins means that Gloucester now lead the Southern Conference by a point.
Faltering starts from the rest of the teams in the Northern Conference means that Leicester have raced into a 10-point lead at the top of the table.
Leicester beat Sale Sharks thanks to first-half tries from Joe Browning, Leo Gilliland and Shaun Allsopp before a Harry Glynn second-half interception scores sealed maximum points.
Elsewhere, Wasps produced an emphatic win over Yorkshire Carnegie, running in eight tries to bring up a half-century of points in a 50-5 win.
Wasps took the lead in the third minute and never looked back after a wind-assisted kick from Charlie Atkinson fell into the hands of Alfie Barbeary, who ran 50 metres to score in the corner.
The tries kept coming for Wasps and a second victory of the season leaves them second in the table, level on points with Newcastle Falcons, who put together a comprehensive win themselves as they beat Northampton Saints 41-10.
FT 🐯Tigers Academy 27 – 24 Sale Sharks 🦈
Tigers defence holds firm in the second half as Tigers remain unbeaten this season.
Tries from Browning, Gilliland, Allsopp and Glynn for the young cubs at Oval Park this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/Fi7iyZMvOK
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) 12 January 2019
There was incredible late drama when Gloucester miraculously recovered from a 20-point deficit with three converted tries in the final three minutes of the match.
Louis Lynagh – son of Australian Rugby legend Michael Lynagh – had run in a hat-trick for previously unbeaten Harlequins before Gloucester turned the game on its head.
Rowan Mullis, Harry Gipson and Oli Parmar scored the tries that dragged Gloucester back to within a point of their hosts and George Barton nailed the clutch conversion to seal the win.
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) 13 January 2019
Elsewhere, Bristol Bears were overpowered by Bath Rugby as the visitors ran in 11 tries to inflict a 77-17 defeat on their local rivals.
The opening period of the match was evenly contested but Bath began to pull away from Bristol just before half-time and after the teams returned for the second period, it was all Bath.
Saracens ran out winners over London Irish as both teams remain locked in a mid-table battle.
London Irish remain one point above Saracens despite the 31-19 loss, Saracens’ first victory of the season.