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Bishops beat Rondebosch in FNB Classic

Match report

Bishops beat Rondebosch 27-8 in an FNB Classic Clash played at Rondebosch on Saturday morning and broadcast on national television.

Both sides endeavoured to play open, running rugby and for the most part succeeded. The Bishops side had the luxury of the creative effectiveness of its three loose forwards – Justin Bijl, Nic Fenton-Wells and Damion Stander who did much to cause problems for the excellent Rondebosch defence.

The number of the penalties only just failed to ruin the game as a spectacle but they certainly did spoil it. There were 32 penalties in the hour's play, which would equate to about 42 in a Test match. People would be up in arms if that happened. Most of the penalties were at the tackle.

The match was played in ideal conditions on a clear, still beautiful Cape winter's day. There was crowd of nearly nine thousand around the Rondebosch field.

Bishops run with the ball, and it was no different on Saturday. They did it regardless where they were on the field. Their attacking played off early in the match when they attacked down their right. Tackled, they got the ball back quickly and flyhalf Oliver Braithwaite cut back at so peed on a sharp angle to plunge over for a try which stocky centre Morgan Newman converted with a banana curve as he slipped in the kick.

Rondebosch came back through many phases as they, too, played wide of an excellent scrumhalf service from Tim Hampton. They had a chance to score but missed a penalty as they did later in the half as well.

Morgan Newman had a strong break which was taken on by Justin Bijl for Bishops but a knock-on ended the prom sing movement. Their next two scores were both penalty goals by Morgan Newman, one for a high tackle on him and the other at a scrum.

Just before half-time eighthman Justin Bijl and prop J-P Koster did some clever interpassing on a long run that took play from inside the Bishops 22 to within seven metres of the Rondebosch line. Back the ball came and big fullback Marvin Christians threw a dummy and scored near the posts. Morgan Newman's conversion made it 20-0 at half-time.

Rondebosch started the second half in fine form. Frequently they gave up the chance to kick at goal in pursuit of tries but their first score was a penalty goal by flyhalf Bradley Hornby.

A line-out from a penalty be acme a maul. Blond flank Hans Echkart Carstens drove at the line but was stopped. Back came the ball and Bradley Hornby went through a gap but was also stopped. The ball came back to eighthman Matthew Morris and his team-mated drove him over. That made the score 20-8 with 17 minutes to play, but it ended Rondebosch's scoring.

In fact Bishops scored next. They attacked. Two penalties saw them about eight metres from the Rondebosch line. They set out a move, tapped, wove patterns and gave to straight-running Damion Stander who cut through with ease for a try near the posts.

That was the last of the scoring. Rondebosch were the team which had better opportunities to score after thy at as battered at the Bishops line. Once they were over from a tapped penalty but were called back to take the penalty again. Eventually a knock-on relieved pressure and brought the lively match to an end.

In an interview with François Pienaar, the former Springbok captain and now an FNB ambassador, Dion O'Cuinneagain, a former Rondebosch captain and Western Province great, Springboks Sevens captain and Irish captain, said. "Matches like this prepare you for provincial and Test matches. I don't think I was ever more nervous for one of them than I was for a Bishops-Rondebosch match."

Scorers:

For Bishops:
Tries:
Oliver Braithwaite, Marvin Christians, Damion Stander
Cons: Morgan Newman 3
Pens: Morgan Newman 2

For Rondebosch:
Try:
Matthew Morris
Pen: Bradley Hornby

Teams:

Rondebosch: 15 Marc Mitchell, 14 Wayde Carroll, 13 David Silberbauer, 12 David Bonellie (vice-captain), 11 Kyle Dodds, 10 Bradley Hornby, 9 Tim Hampton, 8 Matthew Morris, 7 Brennan Wright, 6 Hans Eckart Carstens , 5 Patrick Muller, 4 Garth Olivier, 3 Bradley van der Westhuizen, Greg Jenkins (captain), 1 Gary Galolo

Coaches: Leon Erasmus, Dirk Joubert

Bishops: 15 Marvin Christians, 14 William Esau, 13 Lawrence Hollander, 12 Morgan Newman, 11 Charles Keegan, 10 Oliver Braithwaite, 9 Graeme Steen, 8 Justin Bijl, 7 Damion Stander, 6 Nic Fenton-Wells, 5 Robbie Whittaker (vice-captain), 4 A-J van der Merwe, 3 Brad Gornall, 2 Gary van Breda (captain), 1 J-P Koster

Coaches: André Jacobs, Angus Firth

Referee: Johan Lourens (Western Province)

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