Barbeary treble takes Wasps to U.18 Premiership North summit
Led by a hat-trick from captain Alfie Barbeary, Wasps U18s recovered from a 19-7 deficit to clinch a 24-all draw at Newcastle Falcons.
This leaves the black-and-gold youngsters unbeaten after two Premiership Rugby U18 Academy outings, and one point clear of Leicester Tigers at the head of the northern conference.
The visitors started slowly and the Falcons claimed an early advantage through a converted score courtesy of a nicely weighted cross-kick.
This sparked a reaction from Wasps, and after some nice interplay and good ball retention Barbeary forced his way under the posts with a powerful pick-and-go. Monty Weatherall was successful with the simple conversion, levelling the game at seven-all.
Newcastle continued to apply pressure through their well-executed kicking game, and soon claimed two more tries by way of short kicks.
This meant the visitors ended the opening quarter 19-7 in arrears, and also needing to rapidly reorganise after losing three back five forwards to injury, which left several players out of position.
However, the team adapted well and rose to the challenge, and Barbeary led from the front with his second try, again by way of a short-range carry from a ruck.
With momentum now in Wasps’ favour, Cameron Anderson, playing his first game after a long-term injury, made a searing line break and put the supporting Tom Bacon in for a score on the stroke of half-time.
This meant the second half started with the teams level on 19 -19, but the away side soon claimed a five-point advantage when Barbeary completed his hat-trick after winning the race to a well-judged kick ahead.
However, Wasps were denied a valuable away win by a well-executed Newcastle driving maul, from which the hosts’ fourth try squared things up at 24-all with ten minutes remaining.
And despite a good spell of late pressure, which produced several penalties, the visitors were unable to force a match winning score in the closing stages.
Wasps Under 18s are next in action at Broadstreet, this coming Saturday at 1pm vs Sale Sharks.