Hampton sealed their place in the NatWest Cup last 16 with a brilliantly controlled 20-8 victory at RGS High Wycombe.
The two sides met last year in miserable conditions at the quarter final stage, with RGS winning 6-0, and played out another close game earlier this season, again won by RGS, however this time around Hampton controlled all of the key areas of the game to seal a game that once they got their noses in front, they never looked like losing.
Semi finalists in 2013, Hampton will fancy that if they can play with the same dominance of the set piece, the maul, and the breakdown as they did today, they can do the same again, though it looks likely that the highly impressive Monmouth School will be their last 16 hosts.
A fairly even first quarter of an hour was finally broken open by full back Will Attfield, who despite this being a game largely for the forwards, was arguably the best player on the day.
Having secured lineout ball just inside RGS territory, Hampton patiently mauled their way further in before releasing the backline for Attfield to score.
Three minutes alter Attfield was at it again, this time with his boot, giving the away side an 8-0 lead, and with just five minutes left of the half he soon extended that even further with his second try, another patiently and well-worked score.
Hampton did allow their concentration to slip a little though, conceding a penalty from the restart to allow RGS fly half Cameron Baker to close the gap to 15-3 at half time.
Given that a strong wind had been against Hampton in the first half, that represented a commanding lead, and said much for the accuracy of their kicking game. They used that same wind well in the second half too, pinning RGS back at times as they searched for any distance on their kicks in what was a far cagier half of rugby.
It certainly did not begin cagily though, after just five minutes of play in the second half the scorers were again troubled, this time with the type of try that every spectator loves to see as Hampton loosehead Sam Curran intercepted an RGS pass 30 yards out before showing a useful turn of pace to finish of the score, no doubt on the coach home it had already been stretched out to well over fifty yards.
That made the scores 20-3, and despite there still being half an hour left on the clock, it felt very much like that could be that.
RGS are a top quality side though, they reached last yearâ€™s semi finals after all, and they dug in, knowing that if they could expose a chink in the Hampton armor, they could work their way back in.
Sure enough they did find their way through, but unfortunately for the home side there was just not enough time left on the clock as full back Phimister wriggled his way across the line to make it 20-8.
It was a tough way for RGS to go out but looking back on it they will have to hand it to Hampton, who played perfect Cup rugby, keeping the game simple, dominating the set piece, and using their maul superbly. Be it Monmouth or Gryphon in the next round, Hampton will be a tough nut to crack.
Looking beyond that, Wilmslow High School and Lymm High School both secured their last 16 places too, beating Stonyhurst College and Worksop College respectively, joining Hymers College, Bromsgrove, Oundle, Kingâ€™s Worcester, St Josephâ€™s College, Trinity, Dulwich College, Dauntseyâ€™s, and Sherborne in the last 16, leaving just four yet to be decided.
Full time: RGS High Wycombe 8-20 Hampton
Other Cup Results:
Wilmslow HS 10-7 Stonyhurst College
Worksop College 8-24 Lymm High School
A few photos of RGS High Wycombe v Hampton can be seen on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby
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