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Tigers Under-18s win Academy League Finals

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Leicester Tigers are Premiership Rugby’s Under-18s Academy Finals Day champions for the first time following a 43-21 victory over Gloucester Rugby on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams went into Finals Day unbeaten in their league programme, and Tigers looked determined to retain that record with four first-half tries for a 29-7 lead at the interval.

Freddie Steward (2), Cameron Jordan and Andrew Dunn provided the scores, with Sam Costelow adding the rest of the points at Allianz Park, home of Saracens.

Henri Lavin and fellow forward George Martin added further scores in the second half as Tigers showed a precision in attack to match their determination in defence, though their rivals claimed two scores of their own in the final 10 minutes..

Wearing traditional lettered shirts, Tigers got immediate go-forward with a catch from kick-off by Martin before Costelow put a second-minute penalty wide of the posts.

A minute later Tigers were given another penalty after a smart kick-chase on the left and this time Costelow pushed play into the corner. After setting up a lineout drive and then seeing the forwards stopped just short of the tryline, Tigers worked the ball to the right and full-back Steward powered his way over the line to a big cheer from the travelling support.

Costelow’s kick came back off the upright as Tigers led 5-0 on six minutes.

Gloucester almost supplied an instant response with a break on their left but put a foot in touch just five metres out from the tryline.

Tigers then made good use of possession to set up Costelow for a three-pointer and even better followed when skipper Jordan forced his way over from close range after some strong carries among the forwards.

Dunn and scrum-half Jonny Law threatened the Gloucester line again before the Cherry and Whites finally got on the scoreboard with a try from centre Jack Reeves. The conversion was taken by replacement Tommy Mathews after fly-half George Barton had been stretchered off following a big hit in midfield.

But Tigers came right back with Steward scoring a final individual try, chipping over the Gloucester defence on their 22 and winning the race to the bounce to score. Costelow’s conversion made it 22-7 with 26 minutes played.

Tigers claimed a fourth score on the stroke of half-time when Dunn provided the finish following a lineout drive on the left. After the forward pack had pushed Gloucester back at the lineout, the backs took over and Dunn showed clever footwork and strength to step three defenders and then fend off a final tackler to score under the posts. Costelow’s kick made it 29-7 and brought the first half to a close.

Possession and territory was more evenly spread in the opening stages of the second half, with Jordan winning important turnover ball near his own line which then led to a 60-metre break from forwards colleagues Keston Lines and Lavin to set up another score.

Although the break stopped just short, Gloucester were penned back and from a five-metre scrum, Lavin handed off his opposite number to score and Costelow added another conversion.

Strong work at the breakdown gave Tigers the ascendancy in the contact areas and from one, Costelow tried his luck with a 55-metre penalty only to see the ball drop short.

A sixth try, though, came after 55 minutes, Tigers showing patience in possession near the line before second-row Martin timed his run on to a Costelow pass to perfection and ran in under the posts. The fly-half’s extras stretched the lead to 43-7 with 15 minutes left to play.

There was still time for Gloucester to run two quickfire tries, their first points since the 23rd minute. First, wing Louis Rees-Zammit finished a counter-attack started by Jack Curtis and then Alex Hunt got the important touch at the end of the forward drive. Mathews added both conversions to make it 43-21 with four minutes left on the clock.

Costelow put a late long-range penalty wide of the posts, but Tigers remained in opposition territory before being penalised in possession. The Cherries cleared up to the Tigers 22 in the final phase of the game but were closed out as the defence forced an error and cleared into touch to bring the game to a close.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 29-7 GLO

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 43-21 GLO

Attendance

499

Referee

Louis Biggs

Leicester Tigers Academy
Leicester Tigers Academy
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Full Time

Gloucester Rugby U18s
Gloucester Rugby U18s
21
Leicester Tigers Academy
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Gloucester Rugby U18s
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Commentary

TIGERS ARE ACADEMY CHAMPIONS!

Full Time at Allianz Park and Tigers are U18 Academy League champions after defeating Gloucester 43-21!

68

IN TO THE FINAL 90 SECONDS

We are in to the final 90 seconds here at Allianz Park and have a 22-point lead over Gloucester!

CONVERSION - GLOUCESTER

A successful conversion from the touch-line once again and we now lead by 22 points with 5 minutes on the clock. 

TRY - GLOUCESTER

A mid-field penalty gives Gloucester a piggy-back up-field and from the 5m line-out, they push their way over and score through Alex Hunt. 

CONVERSION - GLOUCESTER

Successful attempt on goal from out wide and Gloucester cut our lead to 29 points with less than 10 minutes remaining.

TRY - GLOUCESTER

It's a successful visit deep in to our half for Gloucester, as they bring it wide to the left hand side of the field through the hands and replacement wing Louis Rees-Zammit.

58

GLOUCESTER ENTER TIGERS 22

For what it feels like only the second or third time this half, Gloucester enter the Tigers 22 as they chase a second score for the match.

CONVERSION - SAM COSTELOW

Easy two points for Sam Costelow from in front of the posts and our lead is extended to 36 points with 15 minutes remaining in the 2018 U18 Academy League Grand Final.

TRY - GEORGE MARTIN

George Martin scores our sixth of the afternoon, running on to a brilliant pass from fly-half Sam Costelow from 15m out to go over under the posts!! 

50

TWENTY MINUTES REMAIN

As the Allianz Park ticks over in to the final twenty minutes, Tigers lead Gloucester 36-7. 

CONVERSION - SAM COSTELOW

Sam Costelow adds the extra two points and extends our lead to 29 points over Gloucester with 24 minutes remaining in the 2018 U18 Academy League Grand Final. 

TRY - HENRI LAVIN

Tigers back-rower Henri Lavin crashes over for a try, barging his way through the Gloucester defence from 5m out and extends the Leicester lead to 27 points.

44

LAVIN BREAKS AWAY!

Tigers back-rower Henri Lavin races 60m up-field with a brilliant break from inside the Tigers 22 before offloading to support, who is brought down 5 out from the Gloucester line. 

43

TIGERS DEFENCE HOLDS STRONG

Gloucester spend several phases on the Leicester line but Tigers defence holds strong and forces a turnover through a penalty! 

39

END TO END OPENING TO SECOND HALF

Both teams chasing territory in the opening minutes of the second half, through both the boot and hand, as they look to add to their first half scores. 

35

WE'RE UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF

Tigers fly-half Sam Costelow gets the second half action underway at Allianz Park, kicking off deep in to the Gloucester half. 

TIGERS TAKE 22 POINT LEAD IN TO HALF TIME

The Tigers lead 29-7 at the half-time break here at Allianz Park after four first half tries, including a double to fullback Freddie Steward.

CONVERSION - SAM COSTELOW

Easy two points for Sam Costelow and his successful conversion extends the lead to 29-7, with seconds remaining in the first half.

TRY - ANDRE DUNN

Andre Dunn goes over for his first try of the afternoon, and our fourth, as he steps three Gloucester defenders before diving over under the posts in the final minute of the first-half.

33

END TO END ACTION

The ball is covering plenty of the Allianz Park pitch in the final minutes of the first half, with both sides showing a serious want to use the full width and chance their arm. 

CONVERSION - SAM COSTELOW

Sam Costelow easily adds the extra two points and extends the lead to 15 points, 22-7 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

TRY - FREDDIE STEWARD

A second try for Freddie Steward after quick-thinking from the Tigers fullback on half-way saw him chip ahead and chase through to re-gather before diving over to score!! 

CONVERSION - GLOUCESTER

Gloucester convert the try from near in front of the posts and close the Tigers lead to eight points after 22 minutes. 

TRY - GLOUCESTER

Gloucester go over for their first of the match, through outside centre Jack Reeves, after a strong attacking position was handed to them with a touch-finder inside the Tigers 22. 

20

PLAY BACK UNDERWAY

The action is back underway at Allianz Park, after a small break, as Gloucester are awarded a penalty and find touch inside the Tigers 22. 

20

BREAK IN PLAY

With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, we have a break in play and time off, as a Gloucester player is being attended to by medical staff at Allianz Park. 

19

ATTACKING OPPORTUNITY WASTED

A wasted chance for Tigers, with back to back penalties inside the Gloucester 22, as they give away their own and "piggy-back" Glaws up-field and inside the Leicester half. 

17

SCRUM PENALTY TO TIGERS

On their own feed, Gloucester are penalised at the scrum and Tigers kick for touch deep inside the opposition 22 to start their attack in a strong position. 

CONVERSION - SAM COSTELOW

A successful attempt on goal from Sam Costelow and our lead is extended to 15 points after 15 minutes at Allianz Park in today's U18 League Grand Final

TRY - CAMERON JORDAN

The Tigers are in for a second, after second-rower Cameron Jordan barges his way over from close range on the back of a strong attacking display from the Leicester forwards off the ruck.

12

TIGERS TURN IT OVER

A brilliant defensive effort so far and Tigers turn Gloucester over on half-way before making their way up-field almost 50m in just five phases. On the attack now near the Gloucester line. 

PENALTY GOAL - SAM COSTELOW

It's a successful attempt for the extra three points from fly-half Sam Costelow, from nearly half-way, and Tigers Academy lead Gloucester by 8 after 11 minutes in the U18 League Grand Final.

10

TIGERS CHANCE FOR POINTS

A chance to extend the lead by 3 points after a second penalty is blown against Gloucester in attack, with the Tigers forwards doing the job at the ruck so far. 

Sam Costelow to kick from 46m out. 

10

END TO END ACTION

Both sides are showing a will to play here at Allianz Park, with the ball getting plenty of coverage across the pitch in the opening minutes.

6

CONVERSION UNSUCCESSFUL

The conversion attempt hits the uprights and so the score remains at 5-0 to the Tigers after as many minutes here at Allianz Park. 

TRY - FREDDIE STEWARD

The ball is taken down at the line-out and driven on strongly from the young Tigers side, before being moved wide to the right hand side of the pitch for fullback Freddie Steward to run on to the ball and step inside before diving over!! 

3

PENALTY AGAIN TO TIGERS

Another chance for Tigers, being awarded a penalty in defence, and we kick for the line. Tigers 5m line out.

2

KICK FADES AWAY

A solid attempt from Sam Costelow fades away and it will be a drop-out to Gloucester from their 22. 

2

EARLY OPPORTUNITY FOR TIGERS

The young Tigers side have an early chance at points, after progressing up field well after receiving the kick-off to be awarded a penalty 38m out from the Gloucester line. 

UNDERWAY AT ALLIANZ PARK

We are underway in the 2018 U18 Academy League Grand Final, with Gloucester kicking off to the Tigers side. 

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FOLLOW LIVE ONLINE

You can follow today's U18 Academy League Grand Final LIVE on LeicesterTigers.com, mobile and websites, from kick-off at 4.00pm

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GRAND FINAL DAY

We are coming to you LIVE from Allianz Park for today's U18 Academy League Grand Final, with the young Tigers taking on Gloucester to decide this season's top Academy Team. Follow the action from 4pm on LeicesterTigers.com


Big-match preview: Under-18s Academy Finals Day

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Leicester Tigers make a first appearance in the main final of Premiership Rugby’s under-18 competition on Sunday.

Allianz Park, home of Saracens, hosts Premiership Rugby’s Under-18s Academy Finals Day, with Tigers due to face Gloucester Rugby in the headline fixture. Both teams came through their league programme unbeaten and are now chasing the title.

Tigers have reached Finals Day on three previous occasions since the new format was adopted in 2013/14 but have not played in the first-place play-off before.

Tigers recorded wins over Wasps, Sale, Newcastle, Yorkshire and Worcester following a first-round draw against Northampton to finish five points clear of second-placed Wasps, while Finals Day rivals Gloucester won all six fixtures in the southern section.

Current first-team squad men Will Evans, Joe Maksymiw, George Worth, Charlie Thacker and Harry Simmons have all played for Tigers in Finals Day in previous years, while current England Under-20s team members Tom Hardwick, Sam Lewis, Jordan Olowofela and Ben White played in the 2015/16 event alongside Harry Simmons and Tommy Reffell.

As well as looking to the future of the club with a new generation of players, Tigers academy teams also have a link to the past with traditional lettered shirts.

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers include four teenagers who have experienced senior rugby in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season and will be led by England Under-18 forward Cameron Jordan. Click here for all the team news from both camps.

Kick-off against Gloucester is at 4.00pm, with the day’s other fixtures featuring Sale Sharks versus Harlequins (third place) and Saracens against Wasps in the second-place play-off.

Keep up to date with all of the action using the Tigers website and social media pages. The matchday Live service will be in operation on the website and mobile site, and we’ll have all the reaction after the final whistle.

Form Guide
Form
DWWWL
Last Match
Lost to Newcastle Falcons U18s 29-43
Past Meeting
Won 18-15
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLL--
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers Academy 15-18
Past Meeting
Lost 15-18

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers Academy43
Leicester Tigers Academy
Gloucester Rugby U18s21
Gloucester Rugby U18s
Full Time