LV= Cup Final 2015 by Lewis Evans, LV= Young Reporter 2015
- Our LV= Young Reporter was amongst the fans at the LV= Cup Final
- Lewis interviewed ex-England star Lewis Moody before the game
- Read Lewis’ match report below
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Reigning champions Exeter Chiefs battled it out with a strong Saracens side who were looking to add the LV= Cup to their honours list as an enthralling game of rugby took place at Northampton's Franklin Gardens.
The atmosphere was unique as the Saracens and Exeter fans travelled in large numbers as well as a lot of Northampton fans. The first half was not as engaging as the second but both sides had their chances in the first period. These included strong runs from Exeter's lively winger Tom James and Saracens David Strettle. The Chiefs were also denied a try as Elvis Taione was deemed to have been held up by a solid Sarries defence led by the up and coming talent of Maro Itoje.
None of the early chances were converted, the only points on the board at the halfway point coming of the boots of Exeter's Ceri Sweeney and Saracens Ben Spencer. The score at the interval was 6-3 in favour of the Exeter Chiefs.
The opening try came 5 minutes into the second half when David Strettle intercepted a wayward pass to simply run into the corner giving Saracens the lead. Alex Goode missed the conversion in the absence of the sin binned Ben Spencer.
Strettle didn’t have to wait long for his second try when a clever chip from Spencer gave the accomplished Saracens winger another 5 pointer in the same corner. Spencer failed the conversion.
More good work from Spencer led to Saracens third try as a smash and grab through Nick De Jager gave Sarries a 14 point lead when Spencer converted.
Exeter seemed to be dead and buried but had renewed hope as Max Bodilly went over the whitewash following a quality Tom James pass. A difficult kick for Steenson was converted with a bit of assistance from the post.
With just under ten minutes to go Exeter's confidence levels were now sky high as Tom James sold De Jager and everyone in Franklin Gardens with a fantastic dummy, unfortunately James didn’t have the legs to go over for the try.
Bodilly completed his double as his jinxing run took his side closer to the men in black, his effort was given the green light by TMO Gareth Simmonds. Gareth Steenson levelled the scores as the game seemed almost certain to be going to extra time with just two minutes left to play.
The play was in Exeter's half from here on in and Greg Bateman's side entry meant young Ben Spencer had a kick to win the LV= Cup for Saracens. Spencer made no mistake to send both the players and fans ecstatic.
It was a fitting finish to what has been an incredible competition and a brilliant weekend of rugby as Saracens finally got their hands on the LV= Cup.
Congratulations to Lewis Evans, our 2015 LV= Young Reporter winner
- Lewis' match report of Harlequins v Bath Rugby impressed the judges
- LV= Cup Ambassador Lewis Moody will be interviewed by Lewis at the LV= Cup Final
- Lewis joins Sam Durham and Jasper Reid as our LV= Young Reporter winners
Twelve-year-old Lewis' winning report, detailing the round three thriller between Harlequins and Baths Rugby, impressed all of the judges with his passionate portrayal of the action which he described as a "great advert for the LV= Cup".
Lewis has won four VIP tickets to the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens on 22 March, where he'll interview LV= Cup Ambassador Lewis Moody. The interview will be shown on the big screen at half time and in addition, the twelve-year-old will have the opportunity to interview a member of the winning team and see his report published on englandrugby.com, lv.com and premiershiprugby.com. Finally, a day on the Daily Telegraph sports desk awaits Lewis where he can further develop his skills for a career in journalism.
We'd also like to congratulate our runners up Sophie Govan, (Round 1), Matthew Gretton (Round 2) and Max Penny (Round 4) who have all won tickets to the LV= Cup Final.
Bath Too Strong For Quins by Lewis Evans
Harlequins v Bath Rugby, Sat 31 January 2015
Debutant Rory Jennings helped Bath see off Harlequins by kicking a last-gasp penalty to win a thrilling encounter at the Stoop, where Harlequins welcomed Bath for a tightly contested LV= Cup meeting.
Bath got off to a flyer with a first minute penalty slotted by another promising debutant in Will Homer.
Bath's start got even better when Clark offloaded to set his centre partner and England hopeful Matt Banahan away on a powerful run which sent him under the posts for the game's first try. Homer's conversion was successful to give Bath a healthy lead.
The next points went to the home side, as Tom Williams went over in the corner following a well-executed piece of play from the Quins back-line. Nick Evans found the middle of the posts from a difficult angle to bring his side right back in the mix.
Ex All Blacks star Evans levelled the scores soon after with a nicely struck penalty.
Quins continued pressing and took the lead 5 minutes later as a quick tap and go from Dickson including some quick hands along the way led to Charlie Walker going over in the corner. Evans' conversion hit the upright.
Homer relieved Bath of the pressure but couldn't prevent the home side going into the break 15-13 to the good.
Quins came out for the second half all guns blazing and capitalised as Evans hit the 3 pointer straight down the middle to give Harlequins a slim 18-13 lead.
Evans increased Quins leads to 21-13 shortly after with a comfortable penalty.
Evans missed a penalty with what would have almost certainly been the killer blow.
Following scrum dominance from Bath, referee Ben Whitehouse awarded a penalty try and sin binned prop Mark Lambert. The conversion under the posts was simple enough for Homer.
An exquisite sequence of Bath rugby including a powerhouse run from man of the match Matt Banahan was not finished but ended with Bath being awarded a controversial penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts. It was then simple for fly-half Jennings to win the game 21-23. A great advert for the LV= Cup ended with the strong Bath outfit having too much firepower for Harlequins. Bath recorded their first win at the Stoop from 12 attempts in a very entertaining and dramatic style.