The South African College High School (SACS) beat Diocesan College (Bishops) 34-3 on the Piley Rees Field on Saturday.
After a week of rain in Cape Town the sun came out and the players produced a pulsating game of open rugby. The win was SACS’s first at Bishops since 1990 and the margin of the win was a record for SACS over Bishops.
Bishops started the game well and put SACS under pressure for the first ten minutes. Crucially SACS were able to repel a committed and determined Bishops team. SACS went on the attack and got close to scoring up the left and were somewhat lucky as flyhalf Chris Smith scooped up a loose ball and found the touchline unmarked. He cruised in for a fortuitous try which he converted himself.
Smith set up SACS’s second try with a searing break from near the halfway line. He cut Bishops open before feeding left-wing Mzi Dempers who scored in the corner. Smith missed the conversion from out wide but was successful with a penalty soon after, as was his opposite number James van Heerden, to see the score go out to 15-3.
Bishops did breach the SACS defence a few times on the counter-attack and also stretched them on a few occasions the drift. Unfortunately for them they were not able to finish off any of these opportunities. One could not fault the effort of the Bishops lads who gave their all on the day.
SACS third try just before half-time was their best of the match as they executed their pattern perfectly, stretching Bishops from side to side before fullback Keagan Wheeler went over in the right-hand corner. Smith converted to see SACS go into the interval 22-3 to the good.
The second half saw the teams go at each other again with renewed exuberance. Despite the heat the breakdown and scrums were fiercely contested with neither team wanting to give an inch. Bishops kept playing their attacking style of rugby but the SACS defence was up to anything Bishops could throw at them.
SACS showed good composure on the day, soaking up everything Bishops threw at them and striking when the opportunity arose. Their fourth try was a classic scrumhalf try, with captain Cameron Calder breaking blind from a scrum and going over in the corner. Calder also set up SACS’s fifth and final try with a quick tap near the Bishops line. He passed to Dempers who went over for his second try of the day. Smith converted the final try to stretch SACS lead to 34-3.
Smith was named Man of the Match for his efforts on the day but it was a wonderful team performance by SACS who will have to try and bring themselves back down to earth for another huge game next Saturday against archrivals Wynberg Boys' High.
Wynberg have been the best team in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town this year but SACS will be hoping to take that title from them next week. The game is at SACS and kicks-off at 14.45.
For Diocesan College (Bishops):
Pen: James van Heerden
For South African College High School (SACS):
Tries: Chris Smith, Mzi Dempers 2, Keagan Wheeler, Cameron Calder
Cons: Smith 3
SACS: 15 Keagan Wheeler, 14 Gino Lupini, 13 Suwi Chibale, 12 Leighton van Wyk, 11 Mzi Dempers, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Cameron Calder (captain), 8 Devon Barnard, 7 Luke van der Smit, 6 Miles Hoogwerf, 5 Adam de Carvalho (vice-capt), 4 Dean Basson, 3 Andrew Edwards, 2 Yandisa Maqenukana, 1 Joel Macquene.
Referee: Calum Howard (England)