Mike Mavovana scored a 68th–minute try to secure a 30-26 victory for Rondebosch over Bishops in their Premier Interschools match on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In the beautiful surroundings of Bishops’ famous Piley Rees field, Mavovana’s late effort saw him skin four defenders down the right flank to score the match-winning try.
The result, though, will be clouded with controversy, as Rondebosch had 16 players on the field at the end. With Sam Cragg cramping up and receiving medical attention, Rondebosch send on a replacement for him. However, when they turned the ball over, Cragg got up and played the ball in the buildup to the try.
Rondebosch started superbly as they opened a commanding lead, but the hosts overturned a 15-point deficit with a rousing second-half performance as they looked to end their troubled season on a high. But Mavovana’s intervention ensured that Bosch complete the season double over Bishops.
Tries by scrumhalf Robbie Davis and Mavovana coupled with a penalty pushed the visitors out to a 15-0 lead after 19 minutes. Mavovana’s first score was also controversial as the winger deliberately knocked the ball on to stifle a Bishops attack, before he followed through with a good pickup to score against the run of play unopposed.
Bishops would score twice before the break, but a third Bosch try gave them a handy 22-5 advantage at the break.
They added to their tally via a penalty, but Bishops dominated the second half and applied all the pressure on Rondebosch inside the 22. They reaped rewards for the continued probing with a double strike by WP Academy star Seb Prentice and captain Jean Pienaar, son of Springbok captain Francois, to take the lead for the first time.
Rondebosch looked shell-shocked and started to make more errors and conceded more penalties as well. Bishops, on the other hand, suddenly looked sharper in defence.
That was until the final two minutes when Mavovana raced clear to break Bishops’ hearts.
Bishops – Tries: Harry Makin, James MacDonald, Seb Prentice, Jean Pienaar. Conversions: Makin (3).
Rondebosch – Tries: Robbie Davis, Mike Mavovana (2), Zak Sallie. Conversions: Sam Cragg (2). Penalties: Cragg (2).
Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images