Bishops Take Down Rivals SACS
REPORT: There is nothing wrong in South African schools rugby if it produces rugby of as great tradition and impeccable manners as this one.
In what is the oldest schoolboy derby in South Africa Diocesan College (Bishops) produced an inspired performance to beat visitors The South African College High School (SACS) in the second of their annual derby fixtures.
Bishops led 24-7 at the half-time and won 43 points to 28.
In the first half, somewhat uncharacteristically for a team renowned for running the ball from everywhere, it was the booming left boot of fullback Brandon van der Westhuizen that allowed the hosts to pin SACS in the half and build pressure. Using the stiff north-west wind, time and time again Van der Westhuizen turned SACS around. SACS kicked poorly and found themselves under sustained pressure.
Bishops opened the scoring after six minutes with a Harry Makin penalty. Completely against the run of play SACS struck back in the tenth minute. Bishops fumbled an attempted offload and the loose ball was toed ahead by wing Justin Bendeman who beat the cover to score. Centre Jordy Hop converted.
Bishops star player left wing Seb Prentice, attacked up the left from the kick-off and Bishops were straight back on the attack. A quick tap penalty and a neat offload and switch and flyhalf James Macdonald was in under the sticks. Makin did the necessary.
Bishops were brimming with confidence and struck twice in two minutes to all but put the nail in SACS coffin early doors. They chose a scrum near the SACS line and scored after a few phases before Prentice again stepped up and embarrassed a number of SACS defenders running in a stunning effort from sixty metres out. Makin converted both a Bishops led 24-7 after twenty-four minutes.
SACS spent the last ten minutes of the half camped on the Bishops line but poor execution and dogged defence meant that crucially they did not score.
SACS woke up for a few minutes after the interval and put together some good phase play to free up right wing Yanga Tolashe who scored. SACS went back onto the attack and created another chance but when the ball was turned over Bishops did what they have always done best and that is strike quickly and clinically making it 31-14 ten minutes into the half.
SACS scored two tries in the seventeenth and twentieth minutes to get back into three-point range of the hosts. SACS butchered the second kickoff receipt and were immediately under pressure in their own half. A scrum penalty was kicked to touch by Bishops and from the ensuing lineout, they mauled SACS over.
SACS had twelve minutes to close the eight-point gap but inexplicably they lacked the necessary urgency. SACS fired a few shots but Bishops must be commended on the excellent defence. Their work rate and hunger was clear to see. They capped off a fine performance and a well-deserved win with a try on full-time, a classic back-row move ending in a well worked try for centre Rob Macdonald.
Bishops were wonderful on the day and played the conditions well in the first half. They scored some lovely tries with characteristic offloads and good hard running lines. They will be looking to build on this performance in search of a dream end to the season. Next week they are away at Wynberg Boys’ High before hosting arch rivals Rondebosch Boy’s High on the last day of the season.
SACS coach Graeme Wepener will be pulling out what little is left of his hair trying to work out how a team that went toe-to-toe with Paarl Boishaai for sixty-one minutes two weeks ago failed to arrive for one of the showpiece games of their season. Some hard talking will have to be done before SACS head down to Rondebosch next weekend.
Tries: Jason Hofmeyr, Cullum Diem, James Macdonald, Seb Prentice, Lubelo Scott, Rob Macdonald
Cons: Harry Makin 5
Pen: Harry Makin
Tries: David Hayes, Yanga Tolashe, Justin Bendeman, Michael Abrahams
Con: Jordy Hop 4
Bishops: 15 Brandon van der Westhuizen, 14 George Spencer, 13 Rob Macdonald, 12 Labelo Scott , 11 Seb Prentice, 10 James Macdonald, 9 Harry Makin, 8 Jean Pienaar (captain), 7 Byron Cranswick, 6 Cullum Diem, 5 Luke Viljoen, 4 Christian Stehlik, 3 J-P Smith, 2 Jason Hofmeyr, 1 Alasdair Jewson
SACS: 15 Michael Abrahams, 14 Yanga Tolashe, 13 Jordy Hop, 12 Nick Redelinghuys, 11 Justin Bendeman, 10 David Hayes, 9 Lucky Dlepu, 8 Alex Halvorsen, 7 Lance Steytler, 6 Kyle Coles, 5 James Brewer (captain), 4 Tom Robinson, 3 Duncan Ferguson, 2 Liam Larkan, 1 Connor O'Reilly