Hampton are our first 2011-12 Team of the Month after seeing off the challenges of Aylesbury GS, RGS Lancaster, Pangbourne and Woodhouse Grove. It’s the Middlesex school’s very first Team of the Month award.
Hampton warmed up with a 38-21 trial match against Dulwich College and impressed all in claiming the Esher RFC President’s Cup, beating Abingdon 5-0 in the final through a try by centre Alex Tavener.
Led by flanker Laurence Brown, Hampton took the pool scalps of Whitgift (5-0), John Fisher (5-0) and Wellington College (10-0). Fly-half Tom MccGwire scored tries in all three group games, the other scorer full-back Joe Battle. MccGwire made some exciting breaks and was named Player of the Tournament, but there were huge contributions by centres Tavener and Kane Alboni, who made some big tackles in midfield and provided real go-forward.
No 8 Alex Ayoade made some great charges off the back of the scrum, prop Alex Lundberg (England U16 in 2011) shone in the loose and hooker Sam Evans was outstanding in his set-piece work.
Wins over Reigate GS (two tries by Alboni) and RGS Guildford (two tries by lock Ben Lawrence) kept the momentum going before wins at London Oratory and, in the Daily Mail Cup, Richard Challoner.
Eight players got tries against Oratory, emphasising the all-round contribution of a XV oozing with confidence. Prop Jobie Burke went over three times in the cup game.
This article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
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