Chiefs U18s off to a flying start
Exeter Chiefs U18s 48
London Irish U18s 17
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs kicked off their new Premiership Under-18s league season with an emphatic 48-17 win over London Irish at Sandy Park.
A dominant first half display paved the way for their success, the Chiefs notching up a 31-0 scoreline at the break.
Although the Exiles countered somewhat during the second period, the damage had already been done and it was the Chiefs who comfortably did enough to claim maximum reward.
Prop Danny Southworth claimed the first of their eight tries in the game, the young prop powering his way over underneath the posts after a sequence of strong pick-and-go drives close in.
Fellow front-row forward Will Ridout was next to cross, the hooker driving over from a well-drilled line-out move deep inside the Irish 22.
It was proving one-way traffic for the Chiefs as Robbie Weeks was next to score, the centre finishing off a brilliant counter attack from deep inside their own half involving James Tucker and Kian Atkinson.
The onslaught continued from the ‘Men in Black’ as the impressive Richard Capstick helped himself to a quickfire brace of tries. His first saw him loop around off his own initial pass to link with Southworth, while his second saw him dart over in the right corner after neat approach work involving Olly Toomey and Archie Hill.
Although the job was effectively done by half time, the Chiefs continued to pile on the points after the break with powerhouse No.8 Rus Tuima rumbling over from close range for try number six.
Toomey got in on the act when he intercepted an Irish pass to run in unopposed and late on Tucker, who also added four conversions during the contest, added his name to the try sheet, when he linked cleverly with Atkinson down the left touchline.
Academy coach Gareth Elliott praised his side’s display at the final whistle, saying: “I thought out first half performance was very impressive and we showed some very good attacking rugby.
“Although London Irish improved after the break, the way we continued to go about our game plan was excellent. As coaches we could not have asked for a better way to start the season.”