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NatWest Schools Cup: Round 5 London & SE review

03 December 2013

  • Hampton School through to meet Whitgift in the next round
  • St Joseph’s College go out to Campion School
Campion School v St Joseph's College, Ipswich in the NatWest Schools U18 Cup

Photo: RFU Archive

There were several epic clashes in the NatWest Schools Cup fifth round in the London and South East region, including one big upset and a draw.

Last season’s beaten semi-finalists Hampton came through their fifth-round tie on the away team rule after drawing 7-7 against St Benedict’s, Ealing.

In a tense match between two schools with only a few miles of London concrete separating them, the score was deadlocked 0-0 at half-time.

Hampton then took the lead in the second half when it looked as though they were about to concede, but wing Alfie Battle collected a loose pass and ran the length of the pitch to score.

Hampton captain Akira Takenaka, who had passed a late fitness test for this clash, slotted a touchline conversion that turned out to be crucial.

St Benedict’s fought back with a converted try through Dom Gorard, but it wasn’t enough and Hampton go through to the next round.

Hampton’s opponents in the next round will be a side they faced in an epic match in the last 16 last season – Whitgift, who beat a very good Seaford College side 25-9.

Whitgift came through the contest thanks to tries from full back George Pearson and wing Lartey Laryea, with fly half George Jones adding the rest of the points from his trusted right boot.

When the two sides met under lights at Esher RFC last season Hampton scored a try with seconds remaining to deny Whitgift in one of the great schools cup matches.

In perhaps one of the shocks of the round, Campion School beat a St Joseph’s College, Ipswich side packed full of international and academy players 14-12. St Joseph’s won their national festival back in October and were one of the favourites to win the competition.

Campion scored tries through centre Ben Nugent and Calvin Bradley, before resisting a late surge from St Joseph’s.

Head coach Mike McDarby reflected: ”I think we were the only ones who weren’t shocked by the result. We knew it would take a special performance and I think we produced that.

“We probably took them by surprise in the first half a little bit, and put in a wonderful defensive display in the second half to hold them out despite them having two or three top-class players in their backline.”

Champions Dulwich College continue to go about defending their crown ferociously after registering a fascinating 41-32 win against Felsted School with Dan Brit, Matt Beese, Ed Berry, Felix Maddison and Omar Malik among their scorers.

In the U15 competition, Reigate Grammar School showed once again why they are contenders this season after they beat Brighton College 38-7 with tries from George Blackburn, Max Coyle, Tom Box, Oli Brookes and Sean Watters.

In the Vase, the pick of the results saw Worth School overcome fierce local rivals Hurstpierpoint 20-19 in the U18 competition. There were also wins for Wimbledon College, St Olave’s, Dover Grammar, Tiffin and Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School.

In the U15 Vase competition there were wins for London Oratory, John Fisher, Chislehurst and Sidcup and St George’s Weybridge.