Hampton edge out Whitgift in Natwest Cup
Updated 1:06pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in Sport
War of attrition: Whitgift School were strong in defence but Hampton School edged a thriller in Croydon Scrumpix
Hampton School remain on course for a Twickenham final appearance after reaching the last 16 of this year's U18 Natwest Schools Cup.
Hampton, skippered by London Wasps academy star Akira Takenaka, launched a second half comeback to win 11-6 at Whitgift School on Wednesday.
The hosts led 6-0 at half time, but Takenaka's side levelled through two Rory Chatterton penalties and then flanker Paul van der Merwe crossed off the back of a driving maul.
Hampton director of rugby Zoran Higgins said: "Every single one of the 22-man squad contributed to what was a really hard, physical and high quality game of rugby – it would have graced the final at Twickenham.
"Credit to Whitgift, who gave everything and are an outstanding team and we wish all the players and coaches the best for the rest of the season.
"We now have to face Campion who are a very good side and we will not underestimate them.”
Hampton now face Campion School in the London and South East A regional final and Takenaka could not hide his delight.
“I am so proud of everyone in the squad and feel that the Hampton boys really showed their heart and passion for the team and the school during the game," he added.
"The feeling at the end of the match was pure elation and relief and we are now really excited about the next round in the Schools Cup.”