Leicester Tigers extended their unbeaten run in the Under-18 League with a 31-22 victory over Worcester Warriors Academy at Welford Road on Saturday.
A hat-trick from Jake Sterland and a try from fly-half Charlie Titcombe secured a fifth successive victory for the Tigers to extend their lead in the northern conference table with one round remaining in the regular league programme.
Titcombe supplied the breakthrough score on 17 minutes and added the conversion before wing Sterland opened his account, racing to a chip kick to beat the defence and run in under the posts. Again Titcome added the extras.
Just three minutes later, Sterland had his second when a break from centre Cormac Calnan took the attack into the Warriors half and his offload gave the wing space to run in the try and Titcombe’s conversion gave the defending league champions a 21-point half-time lead.
Tigers were quick out of the blocks in the second half as they held on to ball to build pressure in the Worcester 22 before a Crossfield kick was collected by Sterland to run in and complete his treble as well as supplying the try bonus point. Titcombe stretched the lead to 28 points with the conversion.
Worcester responded immediately as a penalty took them into the Tigers 22 and scrum-half Ollie Wynn found a gap to run in for their opening points. Finn Smith hits the post with the conversion.
The visitors built some pressure with an attacking lineout and pushed their way over from a driving maul with Joe Richardson dotting down in the corner. Smith added the conversion.
After a Titcombe penalty – and a Worcester yellow card for a high tackle – the Warriors regained territory in attack and, although they were were held out almost on the tryline, quick ball out of the ruck gave James Mann the chance to dive over for a third try.
And the visitors also claimed the final points of the match as they chipped ahead from halfway and, when Wynn found a gap around a ruck, he darted over for their bonus point score.
The conversion from Smith went wide as Tigers brought the game to a close with a nine-point win.