- England Under 18s lose out to Tigers Academy
- Tigers tun out 27-15 winners at Welford Road
A young England Under 18s side lost 27-15 against the Leicester Tigers Academy at Welford Road on Sunday. Trailing to an early penalty by England fly-half Sam Olver, Tigers put up an excellent show in defence to claw their way into the game, claiming the lead with two penalties from Rory Lynn.
Tigers found themselves short-handed when second-row Joe Cain was yellow-carded following a defensive ruck and, although England twice failed to make the most of overlaps on the outside, the visitors grabbed the opening try when centre Tom Stephenson finished a brisk counter-attack. Olver's conversion made the score 10-6 to the national representative side.
The response was immediate as Lynn made the most of a gap in midfield, George Catchpole and George Oliver took play on and then Tigers finished in the corner with wing Tahir El Mahdi diving in. Lynn added an excellent touchline conversion to snatch the lead at 13-10.
England thought they had struck back immediately as they lined up in attack on the left, but strong defensive work held them out again and Tigers still led at the half-time interval.
The second period began with England on the attack again but then they lost flanker Ross Moriarty to a yellow card and positive work from the Tigers pack set up the second score.
A catch and drive worked well on the right, Tigers were brought down just short but then Harry Wells picked up and drove over the line. Lynn's conversion provided a 10-point lead.
Will Owen almost found his way through the English defence with an attack down the right, but England came back strongly and almost scored in the left-hand corner, only for Tigers full-back Tom Hudson to take the winger into touch as he dotted down the ball.
England did get their rewards, though, for good work in the forwards, putting pressure on at two close-range lineouts and then created enough momentum for replacement Max Northcote-Green to drive over. A missed conversion left the visitors five points short of their rivals.
The outcome was put beyond any doubt in the final move of the match as Tigers replacement Tom Bowen stepped into the England line to intercept on the left edge of the 22 and race in under the posts for a fine interception score. Lynn's conversion brought the game to a close with his side the victors.
Report from leicestertigers.com.
England Under 18 starting XV
15) Tom Collins
14) Colin Dickenson
13) Anthony Watson
12) Tom Stephenson
11) Oliver Cicognini
10) Sam Olver
9) Tom Chapman
1) Danny Hobbs
2) Reece Marshall
3) George Beal
4) Tom Ellis
5) Charlie Ewels
6) Ross Moriarty
7) Steve Uren
8) Gus Jones (c)
16) Alex Lundberg
17) Jake Oldaker
18) Max Northcote-Green
19) Tom Chapman
20) Nick Carpenter
21) Billy Burns
22) Matt Beaty
23) Josh Watkins