A brace of tries, five conversions, and one penalty from Imad Khan helped Bishops to an emphatic 50-10 victory over Rondebosch (halftime: Bishops 15-7 Rondebosch) at the Piley Rees in the highly anticipated Cape Town derby, as the Premier Interschools returned to action on Saturday 28 August.
Bishops scrumhalf Khan was well supported on the try-scoring sheet by Jack Pace, Rupert Holmes, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Josh Mansfield, and captain Johnny Roche, while Rondebosch only managed a solo try courtesy of front-rower Daniel Kalell. The hosts thoroughly outplaying Rondebosch scoring seven tries to one.
It was a rather lackluster start for both sides but this was to be expected given that they were last in action nearly three months ago.
Roche masterful on attack especially deep inside Rondebosch territory, showed some great vision and strength as he handed off his opposite number, Jacques Jooste, before drawing the final Bosch defender and passing to Pace who did not have to turn the pace on as he dotted down for Bishops' opening try. Scrumhalf Khan converted the try to add the extra two points, 7-0.
The visiting side kept a very strong and clinical Bishops' attacking team at bay, and against the run of play, Rondebosch got over the try line for their first try of the game. Prop Kalell dislocated his shoulder in the process as he dove right over the entire ruck, inches from the Bishops' try line, Jooste converting to level matters, 7-all.
With schoolboy returning for the first time since May, it was expected for both sides to be a bit rusty, and this was evident in the opening half, but as soon as the rust was shaken off, then the return of form for both teams allowed for some exciting passages of running rugby.
Players like Hartzenberg, Roche, Pace and Luke Parker allowed Bishops players to get over the advantage line with ease while for the Rondebosch team the likes of Nur Gabriels, captain Nic Krone, and number eight Carlos da Costa set the field alight with enterprising running rugby.
Khan's first successful penalty conversion and Holmes' unconverted try meant Bishops headed into the halftime break with a slender 15-7 lead.
Wesley Chetty, head coach of Bishops, must have inspired his men during his halftime chat because the second-half version of the home side was a clinical and relentless attacking one.
Tries from Hartzenberg and captain Roche along with Khan's conversion success meant that Bishops headed into the last 20 minutes of the match firmly in the driving seat, 29-10.
Khan got his first five-pointer when he cantered across the whitewash as Bishops started to pull away, on the scoreboard, from their neighbours, Rondebosch. The number nine converted his own five-pointer, 36-10. It was, however, Khan's second try that was a memorable one for the scrumhalf, who was playing his last game at the Piley Rees for Bishops. He picked the ball up at the back of the scrum and ran the full length of the field ghosting the Rondebosch speedsters to dot down for his second try, Bruce Sherwood added the extras, to give Khan the time to catch a breather, 43-10.
Bishops were not done, Mansfield added salt to a wounded Rondebosch side when the front ranker showed some excellent running lines and skill to bob and weave his way through the Rondebosch defence as scored on the stroke of the fulltime hooter, Khan having the final say as he rounded off a truly memorable man of the match performance, which also brought up the 50 for his side.
Final score, Bishops 50-10 Rondebosch
Bishops 50 - Tries: Imad Khan (2), Jack Pace, Rupert Holmes, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Johnny Roche, Josh Mansfield. Conversions: Khan (5), Bruce Sherwood.Penalties: Khan. Rondebosch Boys' High 10 - Try: Daniel Kalell. Conversion: Jacques Jooste. Penalty: Jooste
Supaquick Man of the Match: Imad Khan
Bishops: 15 Bruce Campbell, 14 Rupert Holmes, 13 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 12 Bruce Sherwood, 11 Jack Pace, 10 Johnny Roche (captain), 9 Imad Khan, 8 Nicholas Steinhagen, 7 Ali Bruce, 6 Luke Parker, 5 Adam de Waal, 4 Keenan Mills, 3 Chris Pittaway, 2 Josh Michau, 1 Josh Mansfield. Replacements: 16 Nassar de Kock, 17 Alex Myeki, 18 Luca Broggian, 19 Ronan Dutton, 20 Torben Bergh, 21 William Ross, 22 Sean Craig, 23 Shariq Davids, Storm Lanfear.
Rondebosch Boys' High: 15 Nur Gabriels, 14 Maissa Gningue, 13 Nic Krone (captain), 12 Jamie Ricketts, 11 Michael Taylor, 10 Jacques Jooste, 9 Warrick Jones, 8 Carlos da Costa, 7 Johan Lorimer, 6 Ben Day, 5 Graeme Pedegana, 4 Michael Hofmeyr, 3 Daniel Kalell, 2 Jonathan Birhange, 1 Damian Lewis. Replacements: 16 Thomas, 17 Schellhorn, 18 Clementi, 19 Sweetlove, 20 Lorimer, 21 Wall, 22 Orgovanyi, 23 Simon .