No 8 Cal Smid and wing Ross Roode scored two tries each to help Rondebosch claim a come-from-behind 32-19 derby win against Bishops at Piley Rees on Saturday, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
Bishops led for 60 of the 70 minutes of this game, but a late flurry of tries saw Bosch overturn the deficit to clinch a deserved win.
Apart from Smid and Roode’s heroics for Rondebosch, Bishops captain Rob MacDonald deserves a mention for his superb two-try effort in a losing cause.
The southern suburb schools – with the exception of SACS – have struggled for consistency in 2017, and their poor form is clearly reflected by the non-selection of Bishops, Rondebosch and Wynberg players in the Western Province Craven Week squad.
However, coming into this contest, Rondebosch held the upper-hand, having completed the double over their great rivals last year.
On Saturday, the action at the picturesque Piley Rees was preceded by a moment of silence for Richard Smith. The current Bishops 1st XV coach and former Rondebosch old boy is recovering in hospital after he was attacked and stabbed in the head during a break-in at his family home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The match itself was played in great spirit, which has not always been the case in this fixture. Bishops, with MacDonald leading the charge, started off brightly and hit the front when the captain skinned three defenders to score in the left-hand corner.
The hosts continued to apply the pressure, but their attack was repelled by solid defence from Rondebosch. Then, in the 18th minute, Smid picked the ball up at the back of the scrum to score and level matters at 5-5.
The free-scoring by both sides continued as centre George Spencer and MacDonald dotted down again for Bishops, while Smid grabbed his second, the hosts leading 19-10 at the break.
It was one-way traffic in the second half, as the visitors produced a dominant forward-orientated display to bully Bishops into submission. They scored four unanswered tries in the second stanza, and managed to keep Bishops scoreless to complete the comeback victory.
Roode narrowed the gap with his first try in the 44th minute, but with the score at 19-15 in Bishops’ favour, the game went into a lull as both sides missed a couple of kicks at goal and spurned ample scoring opportunities.
With the clock hitting the hour-mark, Bosch upped their intensity. First, scrumhalf Jaco Barnard flummoxed Bishops with a dummy pass to score a try that put Rondebosch in the lead for the first time in the game, then Roode used dazzling footwork to cross for his second. As if that wasn’t enough, inside centre Zaka Sallie wrapped up the scoring with Bosch’s sixth try of the afternoon, and to add insult to injury, flyhalf Rob Davis landed his first conversion of the game.
There was still time for one last kick-off, and when the referee blew the final whistle soon after, Rondebosch’s players and supporters celebrated accordingly.
Bishops – Tries: Rob MacDonald (2), George Spencer. Conversions: James Ipser (2).
Rondebosch – Tries: Cal Smid (2), Ross Roode (2), Jaco Barnard, Zaka Sallie. Conversion: Rob Davis.