Bishops produced a powerhouse second half to claim a 36-26 victory over neighbours Rondebosch at the Piley Rees field on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The result allowed Bishops, who had beaten both Wynberg and SACS before the match, to grab the bragging rights for the regional schools going into the halfway point of the season.
Games between these two sides have always been classics on the schoolboy calendar, and the first of 2019 was no different. Rondebosch started and ended the game in the ascendency, but were undone by an excellent second-half performance from the hosts.
The match produced an interesting clash of styles as Rondebosch rumbled the ball forward through their abrasive pack, while Bishops stuck to their traditional game plan and looked to keep the match loose.
There were plenty of brilliant individual performances on show as Bishops wing Luca Liebenberg grabbed a hat-trick of tries, adding a brace from workman lock Samuel Rudston, while the halfback pair of Sacha Mngomezulu and Liam Kloosman threatened throughout.
For Rondebosch, tireless young loosehead Lukhanyo Vokozela was all over the field, while Dalvon Blood was a creative threat and scored a superb try in the closing stages of the match.
A quickfire brace from wing and Rondebosch headboy Lehan Botha gave them an early 12-0 lead, only for Bishops to hit back through a try from Rudston before Luca Liebenberg gave the home side the lead with his first try.
Five minutes before the break, flyhalf Kian Davis showed an incredible turn of pace to slice through the Bishops defence and dive over the line to put Rondebosch ahead, but Bishops hit straight back when Liebenberg scored his second off a five-metre scrum to put the hosts 21-19 up at half-time.
It took just five minutes into the second half for Liebenberg to get his hat-trick as Bishops started to take control of the tie. Rondebosch suffered a further blow when replacement hooker Jason Johnson was sent to the sin bin for an early tackle.
Bishops took immediate advantage as Rudston scored his second try to put them 31-19 ahead before hooker Keagan Blanckenberg drove over the tryline to seal the result.
Bishops – Tries: Samuel Rudston (2), Luca Liebenberg (3), Keagan Blanckenberg. Conversion: Matthew Lennett (3).
Rondebosch – Tries: Lehan Botha (2), Kian Davis, Dalvon Blood. Conversion: Conor van Eden (3).
Bishops – 15 Matthew Lennett, 14 Luca Liebenberg, 13 Oliver Jones, 12 Michael Ford, 11 Samuel Marthinussen, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu. 9 Liam Kloosman, 8 Jono Bird, 7 Connor Evans, 6 Charlie Yates, 5 Jack Hampshire (c), 4 Samuel Rudston, 3 James Bolton, 2 Keagan Blanckenberg, 1 Aidan MacDonald.
Rondebosch – 15 Conor van Eden, 14 Jake Tredoux, 13 Dalvon Blood, 12 Jordan Collier (c), 11 Lehan Botha, 10 Kian Davis. 9 Ishma-eel Safodien, 8 Joshua King, 7 Campbell Slater, 6 Matthew Cohen, 5 Will McDonald, 4 Matt Gray, 3 Bryan le Roux, 2 Troy Fisher, 1 Lukhanyo Vokozela.
Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images