The race to end the 2016 season as Southern Suburbs champions still looks set to go down to the wire thanks to an outstanding and somewhat surprising 43-28 home win by Bishops against SACS. The defeat means that SACS, Cape Town’s no.1 rugby school from 2015 won’t be able to repeat their Triple Crown achievement of a season ago but they are still the masters of their own destiny in spite of last Saturday’s out of sorts performance on the Piley Rees. A SACS win against Rondebosch this weekend won’t settle the Southern Suburbs title race but it will see SACS return to pole position going into the following weekend’s season ending final round of derby action. Bosch’s 23-17 win against a vastly improved Wynberg moves them up one slot into first and if this Saturday’s results do go their way (Bosch win, Bishops lose), they can sew up the title with a week to spare, which in itself would be a remarkable ending to the season for a team that has already exceeded most people’s expectations in 2016. Earlier this season Bosch and SACS drew 28-all while Bishops beat Wynberg 24-12, an indication that there aren’t good winning odds on any of the sides heading into the weekend.
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SACS vs Bishops match report compliments of SACS:
BISHOPS TAKE DOWN RIVALS SACS
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 stuck 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 attack up the left from the kickoff 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 defender 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 scoreed. 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: 2 Jason Hofmeyr, 7 Cullum Diem, 10 James Macdonald, 11 Seb Prentice, 13 Lubelo Scott, 12 Rob Macdonald
Conversions: 9 Harry Makin (5);
Tries: 10 David Hayes, 11 Yanga Tolashe, 14 Justin Bendeman, 15 Michael Abrahams
Conversions: 13 Jordy Hop (4)