Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Academy Lads in a league of their own

The inaugural Premiership Under 18s league came to an end last Saturday as Tigers completed the only 100% record in either conference gaining 30 points out of 30.  The last match was the closest as they traveled to Northampton and won 32-26, the only time they let their opposition away with either the Try bonus or Losing bonus all season.  

Three players started every game: Wrexham winger Rhys Williams, Cornish Fly Half Oli Bryant and Leicestershire's own Neale Farthing at prop; with another 9 players playing some part in every game.  Famous surnames were in action as Oliver Povoas and Harry Thacker played some part in every game, Povoas playing a year up as a 16 year old and Thacker as one of the 3 over age players allowed on pitch at any one time.

Tigers used 36 players from 7 countries, including Canada, Zimbabwe and Italy, as well as 7 over age players and 7 16 year olds over the six games.  In the final game Tigers used two players on loan from Clermont Auvergne, Arthur Itarria and Francois Fontaine, whilst in the first used Zimbabwean Full Back Brandon Mandivenga as well as youth Rugby League international Hershall Ward.  40% of the appearances were made by players from Leicestershire.

Tigers scored 209 points to their opponents 68 and 32 tries to their opponents 6, only conceding tries against Gloucester and Northampton.  Those 32 tries were spread between 14 players with Harry Thacker topping the try scoring charts with 6, next nearest was flanker Jake Farnworth with 5 tries.  20 of the 32 tries were scored by forwards with the back row accounting for 13 of them.  Top points scorer was ever present fly half and captain Oli Bryant with 55, consisting of 2 tries, 15 conversions and 5 penalties.

The most selected players in each position were:
O Perry Humphreys; N David Williams, M Henry Purdy, L Javiah Pohe, K Rhys Williams; J Oli Bryant, I George Prince; A Owen Hills, B Harry Thacker, C Neale Farthing; D Matthew Hubbart, E Joe Maksymiw; F Oliver Povoas, G Ed Milne, H Will Owen.

15/12/2012 Leeds (H) W 30-9
6/1/2013 Worcester (A) W 32-9
13/1/2013 Newcastle (A) W 38-0
26/1/2013 Gloucester (H) W 48-15
9/2/2013 Sale (H) W 29-9
16/2/2013 Northampton (A) W 32-26

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