One of South Africa’s oldest rivalries on the schoolboy front is the next Supa Quick Premier Interschools feature. On Saturday 11 June 2022, the highly anticipated Rondebosch and Bishops encounter is set to take place. Steeped in a rich history that stretches back to 1911, this coming Saturday will be the 198th time these two schools meet on the rugby field. In 1908, however, they played a once-off U16 match with the annual derbies starting officially three years alter. The first match between the two schools was a one-sided affair when Bishops ran rampant, thumping their fellow Cape side 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 are somewhat eclipsed in comparison when it comes to the rivalry that has brewed and developed with Rondebosch Boys’ High.
This is one of the longest running interschool derbies in the country and having this fixture being played twice a year, the number of matches since the 1900s has amassed to nearly 200 games. Pride and bragging rights are at stake for the 365 days in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch. The two schools are a mere 400m apart, and while Rondebosch have won 77 games it is Bishops that dominate this fixture with them reaching 100 wins after the first encounter in 2018. Bishops have won this match 101 times, and there have been 19 draws.
Results down the Years
|Year||No||R Bosch Score||Bishops Score||RB Won||B Won||Draw|
Bishops 2022 Season
Bishops started their season like a house on fire and swept all and sundry aside with their best win coming against a very strong Outeniqua team at the Grey PE festival. They continued their good form with wins against Grey PE, Maritzburg College and a draw against Stellenbosch side, Paul Roos. They lost some key personnel through injuries including captain and talisman centre Bruce Sherwood and have struggled in their last three games to regain their earlier season form. Having played 13 games including nine wins, one draw and three losses, makes this match against Rondebosch very critical if Bishops wish to get their season back on track.
Bishops Results to Date:
Rondebosch 2022 Season
Rondebosch’s is having a rather strange season having played 11 games won seven lost four but claimed two big scalps in Paarl Boys’ High and Paul Roos. Their losses coming against Jeppe, Grey PE, Paarl Gimnasium and Wynberg. Teams that were all beaten by either Paul Roos or Paarl Boys’ High. The unpredictability of the 2022 season is personified in these results and Rondebosch is probably one of the most unpredictable sides this season. They can beat anyone on any given day but can also be on the wrong side of the scoreboard in a match where they are tipped to be favourites.
Rondebosch Results to Date:
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, Hamilton’s 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 WPRFU. 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 10th 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 practices 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 SA 7’s) and Mike Mavovana (SA 7’s).
The game will be broadcast live on Saturday, 11 May from 13h10 on Action channel (ch210).
|Schedule Date||Series Title||Episode Title||Start Time||Channel||Status|
|08-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||16:45||VR2 / VR2A||Premier|
|08-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||17:45||VR4||Repeat|
|08-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||19:00||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|09-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||04:45||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|09-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||07:30||VR4||Repeat|
|09-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||18:45||VR4||Repeat|
|09-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||20:00||VR2 / VR2A||Repeat|
|09-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||21:00||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|10-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||05:45||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|11-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High School||08:55||OTT5||Live|
|11-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Preview||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||11:35||VR3||Repeat|
|11-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Build-up||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||13:05||Action/Action A||Premier|
|11-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||13:10||Action/Action A||Live|
|11-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||18:30||VR4||Repeat|
|13-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||10:30||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|13-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||10:40||VR4||Repeat|
|14-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||00:40||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|15-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||04:10||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|17-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||06:00||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|19-Jun-2022||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||8:40||SSPlay||Repeat|
Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Premier Interschools.
FOR TOURNAMENT INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Robert Blair, Operations Manager Premier Interschools Pty Ltd.
Telephone: +27 (0)79 588 3703
About Premier Interschools
Premier Interschools is a series of 12 matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rugby rivalries from South Africa’s top rugby schools, which are broadcast live on SuperSport from April to August.
Schoolboy rugby has served as one of the cornerstones of domestic rugby dating back more than a century, and true to its slogan “Honouring Heritage. Playing for the Future”, Premier Interschools is about history, heritage and tradition. The series, now in its ninth year, is expected to grow even stronger.
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