Bishops will resume their historical rivalry with Rondebosch when the two schools meet for the 196th time in the standout schools’ rugby game this weekend, writes DYLAN JACK.
The two Cape schools, only about 400m apart, boast one of the oldest schools derbies in the country, having first officially met in 1911. That first match saw Bishops run away with the game, winning 112-0.
Derbies between these two schools have been far tighter since then, as shown by last years’ results when Bishops won 25-20 in the first encounter, before Rondebosch were held to a 10-10 draw in the second.
With SACS and Wynberg both struggling results-wise, the two 1st XV’s will battle to take an early lead among the Southern Suburbs schools.
Bishops have enjoyed a solid first half of the season, suffering just one loss on an early four-match tour to Ireland, before a four-match unbeaten streak was brought to an end last weekend by a powerhouse Paarl Boys’ High side.
Flyhalf Sacha Mgomezulu and scrumhalf Liam Kloosman are the danger men in this Bishops team, with both having been selected for Western Province’s Craven Week side. Hooker Keagan Blanckenberg, who made the WP XV squad, possesses a good turn of pace and is incredibly skilful with ball in hand.
One of the best tries I have ever seen…ever. The build up and the finish. What dreams are made of. @Ruggascoza @derekalberts1 @schoolsportlive @SchoolRugby @Bishops_Rugby @RefJK @Andries_Strauss pic.twitter.com/5W8HLD0fOG
— Justin Middleton (@rugbybroadcastr) May 19, 2019
Rondebosch, meanwhile, have virtually mirrored their opponents by shrugging off early-season losses to Argentinian side San Isidro and Paul Roos to go on a six-game winning run before their loss to Stellenberg this past weekend.
Pieter Benade’s side has a powerhouse scrum anchored by Craven Week props Bryan le Roux and Lukhanyo Vokozela. Conor van Eden and Dalvon Blood provide plenty of threat in the backline, with Van Eden playing a big role in Rondebosch’s wins over Boland Landbou and Grey High this year.
With both teams capable of causing havoc with ball in hand, expect another classic at the Piley Rees field midday on Saturday.
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.
Other clashes on a relatively quiet weekend see Grant Bashford’s growing Northwood take on Kearsney in a televised KZN derby, while up north St Stithians will look to snap a four-game losing streak against St Alban’s in Pretoria.
6 June fixtures:
HTS Middleburg vs Helpmekaar
Noordheuwel vs Waterkloof
Northwood vs Kearsney
Maritzburg vs Michaelhouse
Hilton vs Sarel Cilliers
Port Natal vs Clifton
Framesby vs Kingswood
Queen’s vs St Andrew’s
Stirling vs Selborne
St David’s vs St Charles
St Alban’s vs St Stithians
Pretoria Boys vs St John’s
Bishops vs Rondebosch
Photo:Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images