They are the only remaining undefeated team in the Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League Northern Conference
With three wins from three games, Sale Sharks Academy have certainly made a splash in Premiership Rugby’s U18 League.
But despite remaining the only undefeated team in the Northern Conference, it is not the results that have impressed head coach Gareth Harris.
He said: “The lads are beginning to take a lot more ownership and really drive the style in which we’re trying to play.
“The results are a by-product of good performances and the boys showing what they can do individually and collectively.”
Try, try, try again
After a competitive absence of 22 months, the U18s finally returned to action in December last year, defeating Worcester Warriors U18s at Sixways.
Scoring three tries either side of half-time, the pick of the bunch was a stunning team effort launched from Sharks’ 22 and finished by hooker Harry Thompson (Kirkham Grammar).
Unaffected by a speedy five-day turnaround, Sharks proceeded to put 33 points past Leicester Tigers U18s the following week, unphased by the hosts’ status as the most recent league champions.
Sharks third win came against Northampton Saints last Sunday in the form of another high-scoring team performance, featuring a hat-trick from skilful fly-half Charlie Wardle (Altrincham Grammar).
Gareth said: “We’ve been really pleased with the balance with which the boys play – having the confidence to play what they see but also knowing when to alleviate a little bit of pressure through the kicking game.
“Entering these last three games we’ve certainly left more to the boys and that’s part of the academy programme.”
Next game: Newcastle Falcons U18s
Ahead of their fixture against Newcastle Falcons this Sunday, Gareth said the U18s were not being complacent.
He said: “Falcons are notoriously a really strong academy side.
“The boys really drove the message in training to make sure that there’s not a level of complacency or expectation going into the game – sticking to what’s worked for us so far and really driving our development areas in terms of taking the game on further.”
Sale Sharks U18s face Newcastle Falcons U18s at the Corpacq Stadium on Sunday (KO 2pm) – FREE ENTRY.