Wasps Academy opened up with a bonus point win over Worcester Warriors on Friday in the first round of the Premiership Rugby U18 Competition.
The 28-17 win was played out in heavy fog, but it it didn't dampen the attacking enthusiasm of the young Wasps side.
Early field position and dominant carries from hooker Alfie Barbeary and Joe Tunney, were capitalised on as Tom Willis found a way over from a five metre ruck.
As Jacob Umaga added the extras, Worcester immediately hit back, aided by poor discipline giving them strong field position, and two driven lineouts in quick succession put them ahead 12-7. However Wasps were able to regain control in the last 10 minutes of the half, controlling the field position and pace of play. Fast movement of the ball and continuing powerful ball carries eventually saw scrum half Alex Crocker break clear, to be converted by Umaga shortly before the break.
With the fog continuing to thicken, the pace and physicality of the game increased in the second half. Sam Spink was the next to cross for Wasps, on the end of brilliant interplay between Umaga, Will Simonds and Ehize Ehizode. Inside centre Spink still had three men to beat before rounding under the posts for Umaga to again convert.
With tighthead prop Osman Dimen seeing yellow for a ruck offence, Wasps were a man down in their search for the bonus point try. The forward carriers became more and more influential and it was an initial break from lock Ehizode that caused the damage. Despite being hauled down short of the line, Willis was on hand to work over to add the fourth try.
Worcs responded with a late unconverted try but it wasn't enough to close the gap, and Wasps finished the day with a well deserved win. Next up will be Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday in Hull as the Academy League continues.
Jacob is an amazing, energetic player who will be a valuable senior team player for the future. Great in defence and seems able to pop up in attack just where he is needed. Oppos find him hard to take down as well.
That would be great. I don't know if you listen to the Rugby Dungeon podcasts at all, but it's an ongoing series of interviews with players, coaches, journalists etc, and recently Dom Waldouck (sp?) was interviewed, and your name was briefly mentioned as part of that past successful academy time.
Raggs - No don't follow that but always nice to have a name check. Please Dom Waldouck is back on the stage. Lot of the guys mentioned above any many others still coming through the ranks that I brought in so follow them with interest - really my last age band would be current U16's. Just seems to be a block to lads across the country at 18+ however I understand RFU have plans afoot to deal with this issue in the future - we will see. No luck on a video as yet.
I read somewhere that there appears to be a big drop off from sixth form and university. University I really understand, a new environment, no longer playing for school, new things to do and ways to spend your time etc.
Think it's about the physicality which is dominant throughout but increasingly so as you move down the levels. So pleased about the new World Rugby directive which hopefully will open the door more to highly talented lads at all levels. Game is now coached so well at age band level, loads of quality guys, however it is usually size and power that gets the nod. Just wonder these days if the likes of Wadey would have made it through the ranks.
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