Date: 25 August Kick-off: 12h10 Channel: SS 9

On Saturday 25 August the last instalment of the 2018 Premier Interschools season will feature one of the oldest school derbies in the country – Bishops versus Rondebosch, which is one of the most highly anticipated schoolboy games in the Western Cape. Old Boys from all corners of the world will be at the Piley Rees to witness the 195thgame between these two great schools, the first of which was played in 1911. In 1908 they played a once-off U16 match with annual derbies from 1911. The first match between the two schools saw Bishops run rampant on the day winning the encounter 112-0 with Painton Cowen scoring 86 points in the match. Bishops have older rivalries against SACS, St. Andrew’s College and Paul Roos but these games cannot compare with the rivalry that has developed with Rondebosch Boys’ High.

This is one of the longest running interschool derbies in the country which takes place twice a year. Pride and bragging rights are at stake for the next year in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch. The two schools are only about 400m apart and are situated in the shadows of the home of WP Rugby, Newlands Stadium. Many a schoolboy from these two schools has moved from his home turf to Newlands to represent WP on the hallowed Newlands ground.

The encounter is played with the most beautiful background in South Africa; Table Mountain, casting its shadow over the Piley Rees field. It is fitting that Bishops plays some of the most beautiful running rugby in the country while Rondebosch Boys’ High School also plays an open style of rugby, making this clash one of the most exciting matches to watch.

Bosch has won 76 games with Bishops reaching their century of wins in the first encounter of 2018. There have been 18 draws.

Results down the Years

Year No R Bosch Score Bishops Score RB Won B Won Draw
2000 158 RBHS 22 19 Bishops 1 0 0
159 RBHS 27 17 Bishops 1 0 0
2001 160 RBHS 0 17 Bishops 0 1 0
161 RBHS 0 18 Bishops 0 1 0
2002 162 RBHS 8 53 Bishops 0 1 0
163 RBHS 25 41 Bishops 0 1 0
2003 164 RBHS 5 18 Bishops 0 1 0
165 RBHS 19 78 Bishops 0 1 0
2004 166 RBHS 8 27 Bishops 0 1 0
167 RBHS 26 22 Bishops 1 0 0
2005 168 RBHS 6 31 Bishops 0 1 0
169 RBHS 12 14 Bishops 0 1 0
2006 170 RBHS 3 70 Bishops 0 1 0
171 RBHS 22 75 Bishops 0 1 0
2007 172 RBHS 27 48 Bishops 0 1 0
173 RBHS 24 27 Bishops 0 1 0
2008 174 RBHS 8 20 Bishops 0 1 0
175 RBHS 15 47 Bishops 0 1 0
2009 176 RBHS 16 10 Bishops 1 0 0
177 RBHS 6 10 Bishops 0 1 0
2010 178 RBHS 10 38 Bishops 0 1 0
179 RBHS 19 19 Bishops 0 0 1
2011 180 RBHS 34 18 Bishops 1 0 0
181 RBHS 12 37 Bishops 0 1 0
2012 182 RBHS 3 15 Bishops 0 1 0
183 RBHS 19 11 Bishops 1 0 0
2013 184 RBHS 22 7 Bishops 1 0 0
185 RBHS 11 23 Bishops 0 1 0
2014 186 RBHS 14 52 Bishops 0 1 0
187 RBHS 21 22 Bishops 0 1 0
2015 188 RBHS 23 36 Bishops 0 1 0
189 RBHS 55 12 Bishops 1 0 0
2016 190 RBHS 15 14 Bishops 1 0 0
191 RBHS 30 26 Bishops 1 0 0
2017 192 RBHS 32 19 Bishops 1 0 0
193 RBHS 64 7 Bishops 1 0 0
2018 194 RBHS 20 25 Bishops 0 1 0


Bishops 2018 Season

Bishops’ season started well with 6 wins on the trot including wins against a strong Grey High from Port Elizabeth and old foe SACS. Not much was expected at first from the current team as they were inexperienced with little 1st XV representation from the previous season. However, they surprised all and sundry with their performances and the only games they lost so far were against the perennial 4 winelands giants. This propelled them into 12th spot on the current school’s rankings. This last match of the season against their oldest rivals will however define their season and it promises to be a humdinger.

Bishops Results to date:

Date Opp Result For Against
2018/03/24 Hopefield Win 24 7
2018/03/29 Grey PE Win 27 10
2018/03/31 St Stithians Win 35 7
2018/04/02 Michaelhouse Win 40 12
2018/04/21 Tygerberg Win 66 5
2018/05/05 SACS Win 19 7
2018/05/12 Paul Roos Lose 21 44
2018/05/19 Boland Landbou Lose 14 24
2018/05/26 Wynberg BHS Win 33 29
2018/06/02 HJS Paarl Lose 13 14
2018/06/09 Rondebosch Win 25 20
2018/06/23 Kingswood Win 19 10
2018/06/25 Hilton Win 24 17
2018/07/21 Strand Win 81 5
2018/07/28 Paarl Gim Lose 27 52
2018/08/04 SACS Win 22 20
2018/08/09 St Andrews Win 38 22

Rondebosch 2018 Season

Rondebosch started their season well with four wins that included KZN giants Maritzburg College and Napier Boys High from New Zealand. Their first loss of the season was against Wynberg Boys High and then their season seemed to throttle to a standstill when they also lost to Boland Landbou and Paarl Gym. They picked up three good wins after that first stumble, but then after the first game against Bishops seemed to hit a slump losing 4 in a row.  They will need to up their game if they want to compete with Bishops and not end the season with 5 losses on the trot.

Rondebosch Results to date:

Date Opp Result For Against
2018/03/29 Parktown Boys Win 35 12
2018/03/31 Kingswood Win 15 10
2018/04/02 Maritzburg College Win 41 3
2018/04/09 Napier BHS Win 30 28
2018/04/14 Wynberg BHS Lose 19 31
2018/04/21 Boland Landbou Lose 12 67
2018/04/26 Tordos (Arg) Win 34 7
2018/05/12 Paarl Gim Lose 28 69
2018/05/19 Durbanville Win 30 15
2018/05/26 HTS Drostdy Win 43 37
2018/06/02 SACS Win 24 5
2018/06/09 Bishops Lose 20 25
2018/07/21 Stellenberg Lose 12 31
2018/07/28 Paul Roos Lose 17 44
2018/08/04 Wynberg BHS Lose 22 24

Rugby at Bishops

There is a myth that William Webb Ellis started rugby.  There is also a myth that Canon Ogilvie brought rugby to South Africa.  In fact, he detested the game and did not want Bishops to play it.  What he brought to South Africa in 1861 was a form of football at a time when there was no game called soccer and rugby football was played only at Rugby School.  Canon Ogilvie’s game was based on what was played at his old school, Winchester College in Hampshire.  George Ogilvie was a remarkable personality.  His nickname was Gog and the game played at the Cape was often referred to as Gog’s Game or Gogball.

Bishops got the Cape playing football of this kind, starting with the South African College.  Bishops and SACS may well have played each other as far back as 1892. Eventually clubs were formed, Hamiltons in 1875 and then Villagers to start with, and then in the late 1870s the rugby game was brought to the Cape and became generally accepted, as it had become in England in 1871.  Then the Western Province RFU was formed to regulate the game in the Western Province.  Bishops, like SACS and then Victoria College out at Stellenbosch, played in the Grand Challenge competition of the WP RFU. That all changed with the coming of the school. In those early days Bishops had the advantage of coaching, especially by HH Castens, a South African old boy of Rugby School and Oxford.  Then it also had the great South African rugby personality and thinker of last century ion Barry Heatlie, whose nickname was usually Fairy but also Ox. Heatlie, who helped to found the Old Diocesans’ Union, also formed an Old Diocesans RFC.  In forming the old boys’ union, he – or rather his wife – had worked out colours.  The predominant colour was green.  In days when dyeing was the simplest way of getting rugby jerseys, the OD RFC decided to use green – myrtle green.

Touring teams came to South Africa in 1891, 1896 and 1903.  In those days the local union would appoint a captain who would pick a team to represent South Africa and give them jerseys to play in.  When Heatlie became captain in 1896 he gave them his club’s jerseys – and South Africa won for the first time.  When he was again made captain in 1903 he gave his teams green jerseys again and South Africa won a series for the first time.  And so South Africa still plays in green jerseys. In 1903 Gerald Orpen of SACS and two Bishops men, Fairy Heatlie and Biddy Anderson, pushed through a recommendation that the springbok be added to the jersey.  It had been intended for 1903 but first came to pass in 1906.

The following is the list of those acknowledged as Bishops internationals:

South Africa: Mauritz van Buuren, Harry Boyes, who was the first secretary of the SA Rugby Board when it was founded in 1889, Frank Guthrie, Bill Bisset, Jack Hartley, who is the youngest player ever to have represented South Africa, Charlie van Renen and his brother Willie, Percy Twentyman Jones, who became the president of the WP RFU and also played cricket for South Africa, Biddy Anderson, who captained South Africa at cricket and refereed a Test, FR Myburgh, Paul Scott, Davey Cope, the first man to kick a goal for South Africa in a test, who was killed in a train smash at Mostert’s Hoek on his way to a Currie Cup tournament, Theo Samuels who first scored a try for South Africa, Barry Heatlie (captain),  Long George Devenish, who was for years a national selector, Joe Barry, Syd Ashley, Bertie Gibbs, Paddy Carolin (captain), who first devised the 3-4-1 scrum formation and regretted doing so, Mary Jackson, Barley Burdett, who died in World War I, Noel Howe-Browne, Bai Wrentmore, Geoff Grey, who became a national selector,  DO Williams,. George D’Alton, John Apsey (Prep only), Dendy Lawton, Howard Watt, Dennis Fry and his brother Stephen (captain), Tommy Gentles, Bobby Johns, Peter Whipp, Dugald Macdonald, Guy Kebble, Christian Stewart, Robbie Fleck, Selborne Boome, David von Hoesslin, Hanyani Shimange (Prep only), François Louw, Nizaam Carr and their latest Dillyn Leyds who debuted for the Springboks from the bench against France on 10 June 2017.

Fleck, Boome and Von Hoesslin were in the same team at Bishops, when the star was Herschelle Gibbs.

Nick Koster (International Barbarians)

For England: Reg Hands, Tuppy Owen-Smith (captain), Ossie Newton Thompson, Clive van Ryneveld, Christopher Newton Thompson (wartime), Stuart Abbott

For Scotland: Harold McCowat, Beak Steyn, Mike Dickson, Donald Macdonald

For Wales:  Mike Davies, Haldane Luscombe

For Canada:  Christian Stewart

For Zimbabwe: Mark Neill, Russell Ashley-Cooper (Many others played for Rhodesia)

For Australia: Daniel Vickermann

For Argentina: Barry Heatlie – which means that he played for two countries.

In addition, Bill Bisset and Biddy Anderson refereed tests.

In the 2003 World Cup Bishops had 3 old boys representing 3 different countries, a world first. Selborne Boom for the Boks, Daniel Vickerman for Australia and Stuart Abbot for England.

Basil Bey is the most successful Bishops coach of all times. From 1986 to 1989 Bishops only lost one game. That was in 1987 to Grey High.

Rugby at Rondebosch Boys’ High School

Rugby at RBHS is steeped in tradition, pride and passion. The impressive list of provincial and national rugby players bears testimony to the depth of association between Rondebosch and top class rugby.

Rondebosch started off as a soccer playing school, but by 1904, rugby was being played on an unofficial basis. In 1906 soccer was dropped and the bold step was taken to enter a rugby team in the u/16 competition where it had to compete, among others, with those schools with colleges attached to them, namely Diocesan College, SACS and Stellenbosch. By 1913, the school won the under 15 and under 13 competitions. From this time onwards Rondebosch became a force in WP schools’ rugby, though it was 1922 before the School could win the under 17 Shield for the first time as well as the u/15 and u/13 competitions. The golden years of Rondebosch rugby were undoubtedly the 1960s. Three teams went through unbeaten in the years 1960, 1964 and 1967.

RBHS practises a professional and innovative approach to its rugby with a comprehensive Performance Sports Testing programme. This programme assesses players’ physical strength/weaknesses in relation to his playing position. It focuses on the abilities all players should possess and aim to develop, to improve his performance profile. RBHS was the first school in South Africa that embarked on a study to maximize the safety of its players and adopt the programme. This includes using a sophisticated, research-based software tool designed to assist coaches and doctors to better manage a player’s return after sustaining a sports-related concussion. The system is called IMPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).

Springboks: Gerald Thompson, Frank Mellish, Jackie Tindall, Willie Rousseau, Bennie Osler, Stanley Osler, Jock van Niekerk, Mervyn Ellis, Jack Gage, Alvi van der Merwe, John Apsey, Dendy Lawton, James Starke, Mike Lawless, Ian McCallum, Roy McCallum, Chris Pope, Derek van den Berg, Joel Stransky (at Rondebosch till his under 16 year), Gcobani Bobo and Hanyani Shimange,

England: Frank Mellish; France: Eric Melvill; Ireland: Dion O’Cuinneagain (captain), who also captained the South African Sevens side; USA Sevens: Dallen Stanford.

In the 1st test against the great 1974 Lions side of Willie-John McBride, three Rondebosch Old Boys were in the starting line-up for the Springboks at Newlands. Ian McCallum at fullback, his brother Roy McCallum at scrumhalf and wing Chris Pope.  That was the only time the three ever played a test together. SA lost that test 12-3 and the Springbok selectors panicked and started what is now known as “the farce of ‘74” selection process. That test was the last of Ian McCallum’s 11 tests and the first of Chris Pope’s 9 tests. Sadly, that was Roy McCallum first and only test. He deserved a second chance as much as anyone as he was a brilliant scrumhalf but suffered behind a Springbok pack murdered by the British Lions. He paid the ultimate price for his forwards’ lack of dominance.

Their latest notable players are Zain Davids (SA U20) and Mike Mavovana (SA 7’s Academy).

The game will be broadcast live on Saturday 25 August on SuperSport Nine from 12h10.

You can also catch the build-up Premier Interschools Magazine Show from Wednesday 22 August at 18:00 on SuperSport One featuring Dillyn Leyds and Chris van Zyl.

 Schedule Date Series Episode Start Channel Status
22-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 18:00 SS1 / SS1A Premier
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 02:00 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 05:45 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 10:45 CSN Repeat
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 11:15 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 17:30 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
23-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 22:15 SS8 Repeat
24-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 13:15 SS10 Repeat
24-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 18:30 CSN Repeat
25-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Preview Bishops vs Rondebosch 00:15 SS8 Repeat
25-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 12:05 SS9 Premier
25-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 12:10 SS9 Live
25-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 21:00 SS10 Repeat
25-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 21:05 SS10 Repeat
26-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 07:30 SS10 Repeat
26-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 07:35 SS10 Repeat
28-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 17:00 SS10 Repeat
28-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 17:05 SS10 Repeat
29-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 02:30 SS8 Repeat
29-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 02:35 SS8 Repeat
29-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 15:00 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
29-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 15:05 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
30-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Build-up Bishops vs Rondebosch 08:10 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
30-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 08:15 SS1 / SS1A Repeat
30-Aug-2018 Premier Interschools Rugby Bishops vs Rondebosch 22:05 SS8 Repeat