Worcester Warriors Academy Under-19s recorded a battling 23-13 victory over Leicester Tigers Academy Under-19s at Sixways after a powerful first half display.
Hundreds of Warriors supporters braved the cold to watch the club’s growing wealth of emerging talent play on pitch two against the Midland rivals.
And they were not disappointed as Warriors raced into an impressive 23-3 half-time lead courtesy of tries from Miles Benjamin, Tom Wheatcroft and Dan Hughes,
Warriors had to survive a brave second half fight-back from the visitors but held on to record yet another victory for the Academy.
The home started the game in explosive fashion with Joey Carlisle slotting over a third minute penalty before the game’s first try came on eight minutes.
Leicester hooker Greg Sammons was penalised and Carlisle pinned Tigers back with a kick to the corner. From the lineout fly half Carlisle was again the architect as he fed Benjamin who broke through several tackles to score in the corner for an 8-0 lead.
Worcester were pinning Tigers back as they dominated both territory and possession in the opening 20 minutes and wonderful link up play from centre pairing Harry Owens and Greg King in midfield almost resulted in another score.
Warriors, though, did not have to wait for long for another try as full back Wheatcroft launched a long kick down field into space that Warriors reacted to first after intelligent play from King. Quick hands rewarded Wheatcroft with the score. Carlisle added the extras for a 15-0 lead.
Leicester responded with their first points of the match via the boot of Rickie Aley before Carlisle again punished the visitors for offside with another penalty.
Worcester were being led by example by skipper Matt Cox, fresh from his latest Six Nations exploits with England Under-20s, while the powerful centre combination of King and Owens was proving a real handful for Tigers.
Wheatcroft nearly added another try to his name with a smart chip and catch over the Leicester defence before Warriors again breached the Tigers defence on 34 minutes.
Number eight Hughes started the move with a thundering run to break tackles before Cox took play on and found huge space in midfield. He drifted wide and used the man outside to feed Hughes who finished off a slicing move that he had started for a 23-3 half-time lead.
Worcester rang the changes at the break but picked up where they left off in the early stages of the second half with Carlisle breaking free only for a knock on to deny the home side.
Leicester slowly worked their way back into the game and were rewarded for their best period of the match when Will Lawson made a clean break for Sammons to score in the right corner.
Warriors continued to look dangerous with Cox just held up short after an original power-packed run from Jack Gilding.
But it was Tigers who again got on the score sheet when Aley peeled off a scrum to score as the visitors attempted to mount a late revival.
However, Warriors were not to be denied and a rock solid defence repelled wave after wave of late Leicester attacks before the final whistle was greeted with applause from a delighted crowd.
3m 3-0 Carlisle p
7m 8-0 Benjamin t
18m 15-0 Wheatcroft t Carlisle c
20m 15-3 Alley p
23m 18-3 Carlisle p
34m 23-3 Hughes t
53m 23-8 Sammons t
64m 23-13 Aley t
Team: 01 Shaun Barrows, 02 George Thomas, 03 Jack Gilding, 04 Rob Wood, 05 Matt Cox (c), 06 Haloti Molatika, 07 Daniel Willis, 08 Dave Hughes, 09 Johnny Arr, 10 Joey Carlisle, 11 Charlie Fellows, 12 Harry Owens, 13 Greg King, 14 Miles Benjamin, 15 Tom Wheatcroft
Replacements: 16 Charlie Thomas, 17 Matt Deacon, 18 Ollie Skyrme, 19 Tom Ivers, 20 Luke Yarranton, 21 Will Runciman, 22 Alex Grove, 23 Tim Streather, 24 Vince Lanciano