Preview: Bishops vs SACS
The Diocesan College (Bishops) hosts The South African College High School (SACS) on the Piley Rees field this Saturday.
The match pits the oldest school in South Africa (SACS) versus the one that introduced rugby to South Africa 151 years-ago (Bishops) in a highly anticipated clash.
Bishops will fancy their chances having not lost to SACS on the Piley Rees in over a decade. Bishops started the season poorly by their high standards but since the holidays seem to have got their selections right and have produced much improved performances. With nothing left to lose they have broken the shackles and are once again playing the fast-paced wide running game that has been synonymous with College Rugby for over 150 years.
Since the break Bishops have beaten Tygerberg High away from home, which is no mean achievement, and were desperately unlucky to lose to Wynberg in their last outing. Trailing 9-11 mid-way through the second half Bishops were well in the game until an opportunist try saw Wynberg go clear.
Bishops have their captain Jason Morris back from a long-term injury and he along with loose-forward Jo Miller provide them with the necessary go-forward from which exciting backs like flyhalf James van Heerden and fullback Greg Alexander can attack.
SACS beat Bishops at home earlier in the season but seem to struggle playing away on the wide Piley Rees field. SACS beat Rondebosch in their last outing but have not been in the sort of form this term that they were in a few months back. A few injuries and possibly an element of complacency perhaps, will have given their opponents on Saturday renewed hope. That said, with only two games of the season left for the Matrics and the opportunity to get a prized home-and-away double over the old foe, there should be more than enough motivation for the SACS-men.
SACS welcome back SA Schools trialist Leighton van Wyk at centre and will be looking to him and fellow Western Province Academy player Luke van der Smit to provide momentum from which halfbacks Cameron Calder and Chris Smith can dictate play.
It promises to be a tightly contested derby with contrasting styles at play. Bishops looking to stretch SACS, using the width of the park to open up space for the runners to attack, while SACS will be looking to their pack and half-backs to lay the necessary platform from which to attack. With the weather clearing on the weekend and with a Test match at Newlands to look forward to later in the day Bishops will be the place to be on Saturday morning.
SACS: 15 Keagan Wheeler, 14 Gino Lupini, 13 Suwi Chibale, 12 Leighton van Wyk, 11 Mzi Dempers, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Cameron Calder (captain), 8 Devon Barnard, 7 Luke van der Smit, 6 Miles Hoogwerf, 5 Adam de Carvalho (vice-capt), 4 Dean Basson, 3 Andrew Edwards, 2 Yandisa Maqenukana, 1 Joel Macquene
Date: Satuirday, 18 August 2012
Venue: Piley Rees Field (Bishops)
Referee: Calum Howard (England)
Weather: 10°C/15°C. Wind: 19km/h NW. Rain: 0%