Bishops claimed a narrow 17-11 win against St Andrew’s in Grahamstown on Saturday.
The match never lived up to all the hype and was often tedious with neither side able to make any meaningful advances on attack.
While the home side had the better of the opening exchanges, Bishops scored their first try through livewire flanker Nizaam Carr. The visitors dominated the first half, but led just 7-3 after making some elementary handling errors.
St Andrew’s began the second half as they did the first by taking on Bishops physically, especially in the set pieces.
James Price kicked his second penalty for the hosts, before Bishops scored their second try through hooker Seb Matterson. Saints fullback Grant Macdonald then went over to make it 12-11.
St Andrew’s surged forward in the last few minutes but heroic defence by Bishops kept the hosts at bay. Bishops then had the final say when they scored with a minute remaining through lock West Mackintosh.
Bishops wing Nathan Nell was the stand out player for the visitors, while Macdonald shone for the Saints.
‘St Andrew’s came out firing and physically took the game to us,’ Bishops backline coach and ex-Springbok sevens captain Kevin Foote told keo.co.za. ‘However, we soaked up the pressure and are happy with the result.’
With two wins under their belts, Bishops will enter the upcoming St Stithians Easter festival full of confidence.
Meanwhile, St Andrew’s coach Stefan Louwrens said he was ‘proud of our effort against an experienced Bishops side, especially after last year’s massive defeat. The intensity of the breakdowns was impressive. There are lots of positives to take from the game.’
St Andrew’s will also be at the Saint Stithians Easter festival and have two tough games scheduled against the hosts and Boland Landbou.
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