Premier Interschools will feature one of the oldest school derbies in the country for their season closure – Bishops vs Rondebosch, one of the most highly anticipated schoolboy games in the Western Cape.
It will be the 202th time that these two great schools meet each other on the rugby field, the first of which was played in 1911. In 1908 they played a once-off Under-16 match. The first match between these two schools saw Bishops run rampant on the day winning the encounter 112-0 with Painton Cowen scoring 86 points in the match.
The first recorded match nearly put paid to rugby at Rondebosch, but fortunately they continued with the rivalry in 1911. This is one of the longest running interschool derbies in the country and because they play it twice a year, the number of games played against each other are high.
Pride and bragging rights are at stake in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch. The two schools are only about 400m apart and close to Newlands Stadium. Rondebosch has won 79 games with Bishops reaching their century of wins in the first encounter of 2018 and currently stands at 103 wins. There have been 19 draws.
Results Through the Years
|Year||No||R Bosch Score||Bishops Score||RB Won||B Won||Draw|
Bishops 2023 Season
Bishops started their season with five wins on the trot but came unstuck against a very good Paul Roos at the Piley Rees. From then onwards they had a stop/start season struggling to get into their rhythm in every game and had losses against Boland Landbou, Paarl Gim , Paarl Boys’ High and Wynberg, the latter which they beat earlier in the season.
Bishops Results to Date:
|2023/07/29||Paarl Boys High||12||22|
Rondebosch 2023 Season
Rondebosch is having a busy season so far having played 17 games, won 10, lost six and drawn one. Their only real surprise loss was against Durbanville, and their best victories were against Wynberg (twice) and a very strong Boland Landbou. They are an unpredictable team and if they gel on the day they can beat any opposition. The last derby match of the season against the old foe might just be motivation enough for them to get one over Bishops.
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, 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 in 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 the last century in 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 the 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 team 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 June 10, 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 three old boys representing three different countries, a world first. Selborne Boome for the Boks, Daniel Vickerman for Australia and Stuart Abbot for England.
Basil Bey is the most successful Bishop’s coach of all time. 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 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 nine 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 rugby derby will be broadcast live on Saturday, 26 August from 14h00 on SuperSport Schools (channel 216)
|Schedule Date||Series Title||Episode Title||Start Time||End Time||Channel||Status|
|26-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||14:00||15:30||SCH||Live|
|28-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||18:30||20:00||SCH||Repeat|
|29-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||02:45||04:20||RUG / RUGA||Repeat|
|29-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||05:00||06:30||SCH||Repeat|
|29-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||16:30||18:00||SCH||Repeat|
|30-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Rugby||Bishops Diocesan College vs Rondebosch Boys High||21:10||22:40||SCH||Repeat|
The Premier Interschool Magazine Show, Episode 12, will broadcast from 23 August at 19.00 on SuperSport Schools (channel 216)
|Schedule Date||Series Title||Episode Title||Start Time||End Time||Channel||Status|
|23-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Preview||Episode 12||19:00||19:15||SCH||Premier|
|24-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Preview||Episode 12||05:45||06:00||VR2||Repeat|
|24-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Preview||Episode 12||16:15||16:30||SSP1||Repeat|
|25-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Preview||Episode 12||15:05||15:20||SCH||Repeat|
|26-Aug-2023||Premier Interschools Preview||Episode 12||11:50||12:05||SCH||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 rugby & netball matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rivalries from South Africa’s top rugby & netball schools, which are broadcast live on SuperSport from March to August.
School sport has served as one of the cornerstones of the South African sporting landscape 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 tenth year, is expected to grow even stronger.
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