Brooksby Melton College’s young rugby players are one step closer to the prestigious AASE League knockout rounds with three wins in their first five fixtures of the new season.
The Leicestershire college are Tigers’ partners for the Academic and Sporting Excellence (AASE) competition, which sees 14 sides from across the UK – each paired with a professional side – pitted against one another in a hotly-contested development league.
The core of BMC’s team is made up of 12 Tigers Academy prospects, with former students George Martin and Leo Gilliland both stepping up to the club’s development squad in 2019.
Initially split into separate north and south conferences, the top four sides from each half of the AASE competition qualify for two cross-conference mini leagues, with the winners going through to a grand final.
Currently sitting third in their northern conference, Brooksby’s young guns are still to play Northampton Saints partners Moulton College before a bye week in the final round of these opening stages of the competition.
Here’s a round-up of their five fixtures so far this season.
Round 1 – Myerscough College 3 – 27 Brooksby Melton College
Starting their season at Sale Sharks affiliates Myerscough, BMC were the only away side to claim an away victory in the opening round of the competition.
Tries from Dan Brough and Jack Wright plus a brace from Tigers Academy winger Jake Sterland ensured the Leicestershire side would claim an emphatic win in their AASE opener, with a single Myerscough penalty the only black mark on their card.
Round 2 – Brooksby Melton College 40 – 19 Stourport High School
An equally impressive display in Round 2 saw BMC claim victory over Worcester Warriors’ Stourport High School and Sixth Form College in the first home match of the season, played at Syston RFC.
Brough and Wright were once again among the scorers – six in total – in a strong performance against Stourport, who had themselves put 59 points past Moulton College in the first round of the competition.
Round 3 – Oaklands College 26 – 37 Brooksby Melton College
BMC went head-to-head with the similarly unbeaten Oaklands College in Round 3, and made it three from three with an away win at Saracens’ AASE side.
Fly-half Joel Bezus took 24 of BMC’s 37 points, through a hat-trick of tries, two conversions plus a penalty and drop-goal. Sterland and inside centre Nathaniel Wigley were the other scorers as the young Leicestershire side solidified their top-four status.
Round 4 – Brooksby Melton College 12 – 33 Gosforth Academy
A pair of tries from Tigers Academy wings Roman Priestley-Nangle and Connor Foster were not enough as BMC fell to their first defeat in four against a strong Gosforth side.
The Newcastle Falcons-supported AASE team have traditionally been one of the strongest sides in the north side of the competition, and used their fast, expansive off-loading game to ruthlessly dispatch BMC in Round 4.
Round 5 – Bishop Burton College 20 – 19 Brooksby Melton College
BMC lost out by a single point in a thrilling fifth-round game at Bishop Burton in their final round-robin fixture.
After initially racing out to a 14-point lead over the Yorkshire Carnegie affiliated side through tries for Will Wand, Jordan Tebbatt and Tristan de Jager, home advantage proved to be the difference when Bishop Burton converted a last-minute penalty to clinch the game.
BMC now host Moulton College in their final match of the group stages next Wednesday, October 9, before a bye week in Round 7. They currently sit third in the northern group and are in prime position to qualify for the cross-conference stages later in the competition.
You can find out more about Leicester Tigers’ link with Brooksby Melton College, as well as information on courses and application details, using the link below.