By Josh Bartholomew
The U15s have embarked on an impressive Schools Cup campaign, beating strong rugby schools on the way to a semi-final at Allianz Park.
The U15s’ national cup campaign began strongly with a 48-7 win against The Forest School, largely thanks to 28 points from outside-centre Jesper Hartikainen.
Having been drawn against traditional rivals Wellington College in the second round, Hampton triumphed 30-29 in a thriller on the 3G.
Cheered on by a large crowd of parents and Sixth Formers, the impetus swung back and forth, but Hampton eventually came through with a strong defensive effort in the latter stages.
Hampton triumphed 26-0 over Sherborne School to progress in the national cup, despite a long journey to Salisbury.
After a tight first half where Hampton crossed the try line just once, the U15s managed to pull away from their opponents in the second half, tries from Jack Wells, Charlie Masters and Dylan Straker-Grimes ensured Hampton travelled home victorious.
The U15s faced another lengthy journey, this time to Southampton, but it would’ve been worth it the trip as they ran out 51-7 winners against King Edward’s Boys. Again, the first half was fairly even, with the scoreline at 17-7 when half-time came, but Hampton managed to break free once more, with five second-half tries setting up a regional final clash with Marlborough at home.
Hampton progressed into the quarterfinals of the national cup with a resounding 36-5 triumph against a good Marlborough side. Tries from Jack Wells, Alex Taylor, Joel Luckman and Joe Watton ensured the victory, while Jamie Benson ran the show from fly-half to make sure that the U15s moved into the national section of the competition, having won the South-East area final comfortably.
Hampton’s U15 rugby team progressed through to the national cup semi-finals with a 22-5 victory over traditional sporting powerhouse Millfield. Hampton raced into a 7-0 lead courtesy of a try from Lucas Mangham, and looked potent going forward, though their opponents were growing into the game.
After a well-built attacking set, centre Tim Lamming charged over the whitewash just before halftime. The pressure and intensity grew after the break, and Millfield scored in the corner to reduce Hampton’s lead to just nine points with almost half an hour to play, but the U15s held strong, sealing the victory with a late try to progress through to the semi-finals at Allianz Park.