Honours even as pulsating derby goes down to the wire
.................................... (5) 10
........................... (0) 10
WHAT a game at Piley Rees on a cold and windy day yesterday!
The 70-minute Under-19A fixture hung in the balance right up until referee Nathan Swartz blew his final whistle a few minutes over time.
Swartz called time with Rondebosch mauling their way over the tryline but unable to ground the ball.
“I think a draw was the right result,” said try-scoring Bishops lock Ano Mtombeni, who was adjudged the man of the match. “But we were defending for our lives at the end. We took it to them in the first half, them to us in the second.
Bishops dominated the first 35 minutes with a crosswind in their favour as shown by their total dominance in the territory (73%) and possession (55%) stakes.
Bosch were placed under severe pressure and had to rely on stout defence to shut out potential threats.
The hosts strung phases together in the score zone and made it count in the 27th minute through an unconverted try dotted down by leftwing Alex Jankovich-Besan.
Bishops fullback Bingo Ivanisevic set it all up with a powerful run at the Bosch defence, and from the ensuing breakdown flyhalf Jordan Meyer fed halfback partner William Rose with a long pass, who did the same to open up space for Jankovich- Besan to go over unchallenged.
Bosch had had to wait 17 minutes to get into Bishops’ half.
And while they would spend the next five minutes camped inside enemy territory, no rewards were to be had in the face of a well-spaced defensive line that was fortified by a front eight that seldom missed a tackle in the tight skirmishes.
Bosch would fall 10-0 behind 15 minutes into the second half when Bishops launched a counter attack.
A maul was set in motion a metre short of the line and Mtombeni broke away from the left side of it to score.
Bosch needed to make something happen going into the final 20 minutes and a penalty goal from flyhalf Conor van Eden offered up hope of at least a share of the spoils.
The visitors in blue jerseys started to mount a series of raids and no surprise when loosehead prop Seth Christian bulldozed his way over the paint, and for Eden to convert to level the scores.
Who would win it from here was up in the air.
Bosch were more threatening in the closing stages.
A final push from their side saw left-wing Thoubaan Gabriels going close before a maul off the final play was held up in the tackle by the home side.
Bosch coach Mark Lindenberg ends his third and final year with a 50 percent win record this season.
Bishops coach Wes Chetty may feel his charges let this one slip away…
Seth Christian. Conversion: Conor van Eden. Penalty: Van Eden
BLOCKING MOVE: Matthew Klingenberg of Bishops drives into Rondebosch No 8 Johan Strauss at Piley Ress Field