21 December 2019
London Irish made it two wins from two in the U18s Premiership Rugby league with a hard fought 41-31 win against Harlequins U18s at Hazelwood.
Both sides crossed for five tries, but 16 points from the boot of Monty Bradbury, in a faultless display, proved to be the difference. Tries from Rhodes, Morgan and Taylor in the first half and efforts from Dykes and Vajner in the second were enough to keep the Exiles record untarnished leading into Christmas.
Quins started the better and scored the first try after a few minutes of play from a driving maul. The Exiles came back into the contest, using the wind to their advantage to pin the visitors back in their own territory. The territory proved crucial as the hosts crossed for their successive tries to build a significant lead int the match.
Quins crossed for a try just before the break to make the score at half time 27-12.
Michael Dykes crossed for his sides fourth try, a clever kick from scrum half Morgan found space and Dykes used his speed to gather first and dot down for the score.
Quins edged the final quarter, scoring three tries, but a fifth score for Irish captain Joe Vajner confirmed the win.
London Irish Academy manager, Patrick O’Grady, was pleased with the boy’s performance “It was yet an all-round performance, but certainly something we can build on. It was great to see the connection within the group, they have been together for a long time from DPP through to now. We loo forward to building on this for next week.”
London Irish host Saracens next Saturday at Hazelwood in round three of the competiton (kick-off 12noon).
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Rhodes (13), Morgan (31), Taylor (34), Dykes (55), Vajner (65); Conversions: Bradbury (5); Penalties: Bradbury (20, 23)
London Irish U18s:
15 Finley Brown, 14 Henry Arundell, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Matthew Barrett, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Monty Bradbury, 9 Rory Morgan, 1 Tarek Haffar, 2 Joseph Vajner ©, 3 Joe Keohane, 4 Josh Taylor, 5 Sam Harding, 6 Lucas Brooke, 7 George Davis, 8 Marcus Rhodes
Replacements: 16 Mikey Summerfield, 17 Ethan Pawadyira, 18 Edwin Zaimovic, 19 Freddie Fearnley, 20 Dan Ormond, 21 Niall McGann, 22 Jesper Hartikainen 23 Ben Fitzgerald