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Academy finish on top of Northern Conference

The Leicester Tigers Academy have finished the U18 Academy League Northern Conference season unbeaten after a final round 47-7 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Oval Park on Saturday afternoon.

Played at the club's Oval Park Training Ground, just down the road from the senior Tigers side Premiership fixture against Harlequins at Welford Road, the young Leicester side came in to the match without a loss and requiring just one competition point to guarantee top-spot in the conference and a place in the grand final on Academy Finals Day (Sunday, March 11) at Allianz Park.

Tigers welcomed back flyhalf Jacob Fewtrell from a groin-injury, seeing the sides top point-scorer Sam Costelow moved to the bench.

It took 18 minutes for the home side to cross for the opening try and points of the match, when a turnover from Tigers forward Taylor Gough near the half-way line allowed the young Leicester outfit to move the ball quickly through their backline and catch the Falcons unaware.

Fullback Freddie Steward sliced through a gap, creating a two-on-one down the left wing and timed a pass perfectly for a flying Will Poland to race away untouched and cross for the first try.

The conversion attempt from Fewtrell narrowly missed, seeing the Tigers lead remain just five points with almost 20 minutes played.

Fewtrell was replaced on the 20 minute mark, after a successful first outing for the season and adding much needed depth to the Tigers squad heading in to the Academy Finals Day, as Costelow came in to the action.

Just five minutes later and the home side were in for their second of the match and second for a winger, when Zack Godfrey was gifted space and time on the outside on the end of a well executed backline move from a mid-field scrum.

Costelow added the conversion and stretched the lead to 12 points with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

As the half-time break approached Leicester had to the crowd cheering as the young side turned back to the clock to an old favourite for Tigers fans as they drove a maul more than 20m from a line-out deep inside the Newcastle half, before hooker Jamie Harding dropped to the floor over the try-line and score.

Costelow again slotted the conversion attempt and the Leicester Academy went in to the break with a 19-0 lead over their Newcastle counterparts.

Despite trailing by three tries and without a score, it was the visitors who came out of the blocks flying in the second half as they went over for their first try of the match in just the second minute after the break.

A break from deep inside their own half saw them with just the Tigers fullback Steward to beat, and numerous players in support, before dotting down for their opener. A successful conversion followed and suddenly the Leicester lead was just 12 points with a little over half an hour remaining.

It wasn't long however before the Tigers were back on the scoring sheet however, securing themselves a place in the 1 v 2 play-off on Academy Finals Day with a fourth try bonus-point in the 41st minute, when No.8 Thom Smith pounced on a loose ball near the Falcons try-line before slamming it down.

Costelow's third straight successful conversion attempt reinstated the 19-point lead from the half-time break.

Only two minutes later and the Tigers had a fifth when inside centre Andre Dunn was gifted a free run to the line after a penalty was awarded Leicester's way 5m out from the Newcastle line and a quick-tap was taken, before a beautiful pass was sent the way of the No.12 to cruise over and touch it down.

Four from four for Costelow from the conversion to follow and Leicester's lead was out 26 points with as many minutes to play.

Fifteen minutes without any points followed and with the match in the bag, Tigers looked to their bench to finish the game with Leicester's coaching staff making a host of changes.

One of those, Luke Phoenix, was the young man to add the sixth score of the match for Leicester when fellow replacement Costelow kicked cross-field and in to the chasing speedster's hands for him to go over in the corner.

An impressive sideline conversion from Costelow stretched the lead to 40-7 with 12 minutes remaining on the clock.

Almost ten minutes later and the Tigers had their seventh and final try of the match when rampaging second-rower Cameron Jordan barged his way over from a pick-and-go on the end of impressive phase-play from the Leicester forwards, with Costelow again adding the extra two points and extending the Newcastle deficit to 40 points.

The final three minutes went scoreless before the full-time whistle was blown on the regular season for the Tigers Academy who, with a 47-7 victory over the Falcons, completed an unbeaten run to finish top of the Northern Conference and set-up a date with Southern Conference winners Gloucester on Academy Finals Day on Sunday, March 11 at Allianz Park.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 19-0 NEW

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 47-7 NEW

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Carl Adams

Leicester Tigers Academy
Leicester Tigers Academy
47

Full Time

Newcastle Falcons U18s
Newcastle Falcons U18s
7
Leicester Tigers Academy
T
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
KOHTFT
Newcastle Falcons U18s
T
C

Commentary

Tigers complete unbeaten conference season

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Sam Costelow kicks a sixth conversion for the afternoon, extending the Leicester Academy lead to 40-points with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. 

TRY - TIGERS

Leicester lock Cameron Jordan adds the seventh try for the home side, with the rampaging forward crashing his way over on the back of a strong set of phases up-field from the Tigers. 

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Sam Costelow converts once again and Tigers lead by 33 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

TRY - TIGERS

With 15 minutes played since the last points, Tigers add a sixth try for the afternoon as flyhalf Sam Costelow spots space out wide and weights a cross-field kick perfectly for a flying Luke Phoenix to catch and score in the corner. 

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Another successful conversion attempt from Sam Costelow extends the Tigers lead to 33-7 with 44 minutes played here at Oval Park in this U18 Academy League fixture. 

TRY - TIGERS

Less than two minutes after scoring their fourth, Tigers cross for their fifth try of the game through inside centre Andre Dunn after quick-thinking at a penalty 5m out sees Leicester quick-tap and move the ball along the line for the No.12 to go over untouched. 

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Sam Costelow adds the extra two points with a third successful conversion and Tigers lead 26-7 after 42 minutes at Oval Park. 

TRY - TIGERS

The home side hit back with their fourth try of the match as No.8 Thom Smith dives on a loose ball near the Falcons try-line and slams it down to secure the bonus-point and top spot in the Northern Conference. 

CONVERSION - NEWCASTLE

The visitors close the deficit to 12 points with just over half an hour remaining as they successfully convert their opening try to trail Tigers 19-7.

TRY - NEWCASTLE

Just two minutes in to the second half and the visitors are the first to register points on the scoreboard, with their first try of the match, as they capitalise on a break inside their own 22 before racing up field to score. 

TIGERS LEAD BY 19 AT THE BREAK

Half Time at Oval Park and the home side head in to the break with a 19-point lead over Newcastle Falcons.

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Sam Costelow makes it 19-0 in the 33rd minute with his second conversion of the match. 

TRY - TIGERS

Leicester are in for their third try of the match, going over in true Tigers style! 

A line-out 25m out from the Falcons line is taken to ground and the young Tigers forward pack drive the maul all the way to the try-line before hooker Jamie Harding, from the back, drops to the floor and scores. 

CONVERSION - TIGERS

Sam Costelow adds the extra two points with a successful conversion attempt and extends Tigers lead to 12-0 after 26 minutes.

TRY - TIGERS

Leicester are in for their second try of the match through Zack Godfrey, after the winger was gifted a free run to the line following a well orchestrated back-line move off a mid-field scrum from Tigers. 

TRY - TIGERS

The home side are over for the opening score of the match as wing Will Poland crosses, following a mid-field turnover from back-rower Taylor Gough sees Tigers regain possession. 

The ball is moved quickly from the first phase out wide for fullback Freddie Steward to find space and pass to Poland before the winger races over the line untouched. 

KICK-OFF AT OVAL PARK

We're underway at Oval Park in today's U18 Academy League clash between Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons.


Tigers Academy aim for the top

Figure image

Leicester Tigers Academy welcome Newcastle Falcons for the final league fixture of the Under-18 Academy League campaign this Saturday.

Tigers need just one point to secure top spot at the end of the league programme and book a place to face southern conference winners Gloucester Rugby on League Finals Day next month.

Leicester took a bonus-point win last weekend, beating Yorkshire Carnegie 36-7, and are still unbeaten in the league programme, sitting five points clear of second-placed Wasps.

For Saturday’s match, Tigers bring Jamie Harding, Cameron Jordan and Henri Larvin into the forward pack while Will Yarnell, Jacob Fewtrew and Sam Wager are restored to the backline.

Saturday’s game is a 12.30pm kick-off at the Oval Park training ground (LE2 5QG). Entry is free but supporters are advised that there is no parking available at the facility or at Oadby Town FC.

Leicester Tigers Academy 

15 Freddie Steward (Norwich School)

14 Zack Godfrey (Stamford School)

13 Sam Wager (Wyggeston & QE College)

12 Andre Dunn (Langley School)

11 Will Poland (Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School)

10 Jacob Fewtrell (Denstone College)

9 Will Yarnell (Loughborough Grammar School)

1 Keston Lines (Wyggeston & QE College)

2 Jamie Harding (Denstone College)

3 Joe Latham (Wyggeston & QE College)

4 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College)

5 Cameron Jordan (Oakham School) (c)

6 Henri Lavin (Wyggeston & QE College)

7 Taylor Gough (Wyggeston & QE College)

8 Thom Smith (Langley School)

Replacements

16 Finlay Gibson (Brooksby Melton College)

17 Dave Koelman (Stamford School)

18 James Whitcombe (Woodhouse Grove School)

19 Sam Eveleigh (Leicester Grammar School)

20 Ronnie Du Randt (Denstone College)

21 Jonny Law (Rugby School)

22 Sam Costelow (Oakham School)

23 Luke Phoenix (Langley School)

Form Guide
Form
WWWLD
Last Match
Draw with London Irish U18s 22-22
Past Meeting
Won 19-0
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLL--
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers Academy 0-19
Past Meeting
Lost 0-19

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Leicester Tigers Academy47
Leicester Tigers Academy
Newcastle Falcons U18s7
Newcastle Falcons U18s
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