On a cold winter’s morning in Newlands, Diocesan College (Bishops) rained on the parade of their hosts The South Africa College High School (SACS). SACS are having a stellar season and like it in the first round fixture, which was drawn, went into the match as firm favourites. Once again though, Bishops failed to read the script and this time went one better running our 15-12 winners (halftime: 5 –nil).
SACS started well and dominated the opening twenty minutes of the match. SACS had heaps of possession and multiple attacking opportunities in the Bishops quarter. SACS were loose and lateral though and made a number of costly errors. In the twentieth minute it looked like they had finally broken the resolute Bishops defence when Aaron Zeerderberg went over from a set scrum move. He looked to have scored but once again the outstanding Bishops defence did just enough and held him up.
Bishops came into the game with burly centre George Spencer getting his hands on the ball and causing the SACS defence problems. On twenty-five minutes scrumhalf Willie Rose missed an easy shot at poles but on the stroke of half-time Bishops ran a scrum play from just inside their own half. They stretched the SACS defence and found space on the outside, right- wing Murray Bruce tracking on the inside to finish off a lovely try. Rose failed to convert but importantly Bishops had the lead somewhat against the run of play.
Once again SACS had early chances in the second half but Bishops were doing more of the playing now. After a wonderful counter-attack Bishops were also held up over the line twice. In the eighteen minute, from the ensuing five metre scrum Spencer used his bulk to crash over under the poles allowing Bishops to extend their lead to 12-0.
SACS came back at Bishops and, as they had done in the first half, continued to tap penalties which could have been kicked to poles or to the corner. When, on twenty-three minutes, they did decide to take a shot a goal Michael Abrahams missed from virtually the same spot Rose had in the first half.
It took SACS until twenty-nine minutes into the second half to eventually get on the score-sheet. Good build up play from flank CJ Ikemefuna saw him held up over the line before centre Chad van der Loo ripped the ball clear to score. Crucially Abrahams missed the conversion.
Bishops won the ball back from the kickoff and SACS were pinged for offside. Rose put the final nail in SACS’s coffin as he extended Bishops lead to 15-5 with less than five minutes to play. SACS scored again on the stroke of full time via hooker Anathi Kalipa. Abrahams converted and the referee blew an end to proceedings.
Bishops 1stXV Coach Richard Smith, brother-in-law of SACS Coach Nick Maurer, is still wheelchair bound after the brutal attack on him at his home six weeks ago. He was attending his first match since the incident and the Bishops boys played their hearts out for him. Emotions ran high at the end of the match as Bishops players and supporters surrounded Mr. Smith and chanted their famous war-cry.
It was a fitting end to a glorious morning of schoolboy rugby and rivalry which dates back to the 1860’s. The second last match of the season and the second round of Southern Suburbs derbies await both teams next weekend as SACS host Rondebosch (1stXV Kickoff: 11.45am) and Bishops host Wynberg.
Tries: Chad van der Loo, Anathi Kalipa
Conversion: Michael Abrahams
Tries: George Spencer, Murray Bruce
Conversion: William Rose
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