The scene was set for another epic derby encounter as The South African College High School (SACS) hosted Diocesan College (Bishops) for another instalment of this historic fixture. There was a Southerly breeze blowing on a chilly early winters morning in Newlands but this did not deter a large crowd who gathered for the first of the Southern Suburb derbies. Bishops proved too good on the day and were deserved 39-21 winners (half time: 15-7)
Bishops scored as early as the third minute as they spread the ball to the left where hooker Keagan Blanckenberg was waiting in the trams. He beat his defender on the outside, drew the SACS fullback before feeding the Bishops fullback Joe Kirsten who scored. Flyhalf Matthew Lennett nailed the conversion as he did all seven of his kicks on the day.
Ten minutes later SACS struck back as a kick for territory by centre Robin Aspeling was partly changed down. It bounced awkwardly for Kirsten and into the hands of SACS’s best player on the day, wing Duran Koevort. He just beat the cover tackle of Bishops scrumhalf Liam Kloosman to score. Fullback Matthew Hayes converted from wide out.
Bishops retained the kickoff and came straight back onto the attack. They had a lineout drive repelled and earned another penalty, which Lennett duly converted. Hayes missed an easy shot to level the scores soon after.
Bishops always looked dangerous on attack and were constantly asking questions of the SACS defence. With twenty-five minutes gone prop Aidan Macdonald surged for the line. He was held up but from the ensuing scrum Kloosman went blind and on the next phase fed his ever present skipper and No. 8 Isaiah Wharton who crashed over for his first try.
SACS had two good chances to narrow the gap before the interval. Good patient build-up play was spoilt by a dropped pass and then soon after centre Rihaz Fredericks cut through from first phase. It looked for all money like SACS would score only for him to be dragged down by the cover defence.
From the second half kick-off SACS kicked the ball back to Bishops. Kirsten gleefully accepted and had a crack. He cut through and linked only for Bishops to once again be held up over the line. In almost a carbon copy of their second try Kloosman played the ball blind and then once phase later Wharton came on a hard line driving in low. He duly scored and extended the Bishops lead to 22-7.
Midway through the half SACS executed a brilliant lineout variation which saw Koevort get over for his second try and bring the hosts back within range. Both teams were guilty of conceding to many turnovers in contact but when Bishops held onto the ball they were excellent. Their big locks backing up Wharton with strong gain line carries. After another surge by Connor Evans the ball was brilliantly flipped wide by centre Mike Ford. Blanckenberg set off another superb run, this time scoring himself to put the result beyond doubt at 32-14.
Bishops were physically superior in contact and had more pace than SACS on the outside. It wasn’t long before their other lock Samuel Rudston was on the scoresheet. SACS kept fighting to the end and pulled back another score through hard-working flank Nicholas Boden.
Bishops were deserved winners on the day and will take great confidence from this result as they head out to the farm next week to face Boland Landbou. SACS in turn host Brackenfell and will be looking to gain some confidence and momentum before the arrival of Paarl Gim the week after!
Tries: Duran Koevort (2), Nicholas Boden
Conversions: Matthew Hayes (2), Robin Aspeling
Tries: Isaiah Wharton (2), Joe Kirsten, Keagan Blanckenberg, Samuel Rudston
Conversions: Matthew Lennett (4)
Penalties: Lennett (2)
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