Prior to moving to the City of Oxford College, Wasps A.C.E had not reached the National Final for approximately 10 years. A fresh start for the programme has meant the Wasps A.C.E programme has reached the RFU Final at the first time of asking!
After finishing top of the North Pool, they headed into the round two play offs in strong form. Taking on Brooksby Melton College (Leicester Tigers) at home, the A.C.E side started strongly and recorded a bonus point win in their 45-18 victory. Up next were SGS Filton College (Bristol Bears) but the side could not get into gear away from home and lost 20-12.
The final round of the play offs saw the A.C.E side hosting Truro College, who won their opening two fixtures.
There was still a chance to qualify for the main A.C.E final and the side came out fighting. Needing a bonus point win and to stop the travelling side from gaining a fourth try and losing bonus point the challenge in front of them was big but not impossible.
An impressive first half display meant they went in at half-time 19-0 up. Strong performances from Asher, Jacob and Kian-William allowed the A.C.E side to get into their stride. Tries from Ben, Epi and Matt, put them in the driving seat.
Truro College threw everything they had at the City of Oxford College side in the second half and showed why they were unbeaten in the play offs with abrasive running and speed of play, they quickly took the score line to 19-12.
The City of Oxford College team rose to the challenge. An outstanding performance from captain Zach and fellow back rowers Billy and Liam put a stop to the Truro attack. This allowed the City of Oxford College team to gain momentum with Ben scoring his second and Tom crashing over to take the final score to 31-12.
On Wednesday 8 December, the City of Oxford College Wasps A.C.E side will take on previous A.C.E winners Hartpury College in the RFU A.C.E Final at Stourbridge RFC.
Alex Guest, Men’s Rugby Head Coach at Activate Learning said “This is an excellent achievement for the players and the programme.
“The support of the club and the parents has been amazing. We’ve been through a lot as a side, and we haven’t got to the final the easy way. These challenges will hold us in good stead for the final.
“We’re looking forward to the final and under no illusions how tough this will be. This is a fantastic group of players, and we are so happy they will be able to represent the college, club and their families in the final.”
Looking at sixth form options? Interested in the Wasps A.C.E programme?
The A.C.E programme allows 16-18-year-olds to combine qualifications with their rugby development in one integrated timetable. City of Oxford College offers a range of pathways enabling students to study A Levels or a BTEC in Sport, Business or Engineering while training full-time with the college’s professional rugby development staff.
Join us for our Open Event on Saturday 15 January from 10am-3pm at Oxford Brookes University’s Harcourt Hill Campus, where you will discover who we are and what we do, go on a tour of the training facilities and accommodation while hearing about the range of courses and take part in a practical session for a taste of the training the players go through. Sign up here to book your place.
Discover our A.C.E programme or contact us via 0800 612 6008. For more information on the final and progress of the Wasps A.C.E side, follow them on Twitter or Instagram using the handle @WaspsACEOxford