Rugby vs Bishops: Photos and Report

On August 17th, 2014, posted in: Alumni, Archive, Galleries, News, Recent Highlights, Rugby, Sport, Sport, Students by

Wynberg Boys' High School Rugby vs Bishops, Saturday 16 August 2014

Wynberg Boys’ High School Rugby vs Bishops, Saturday 16 August 2014; photos courtesy Shaun Madison

Wynberg vs Bishops, Saturday 16 August 2014

Wynberg’s Director of Rugby, Kevin Musikanth reports:

A great day at Wynberg on Saturday in terms of another clean sweep for the A sides. Some really special rugby was on display against our local rivals. This is a great compliment to all coaches and players.

Traditionally, of the Southern Suburb rugby schools, Bishops were always the strongest. In terms of playing a signature brand of rugby and path finding within the sport, Bishops had no peer.

As the Southern Suburbs school boy rugby power has shifted to our doors over the last 3 years, Bishops continue to dominate the Craven Week ranks and produce quality players, but as far as rugby teams go, I believe Wynberg has the edge. We are by far the best performing southern suburb school at A side level this year and have  great acknowledgement of the modern game where preparation and team spirit mostly outweighs individual talent; this we show when we take on our traditional derby rivals.

In the first team match it was evident to see that Bishops and their signature game was worked out by meticulous coaches Justin Van Winkel and Allen Gerber. Nobody present could have thought otherwise. The boys from up the road were comprehensively beaten in all aspects of the game.

Rugby is a funny sport in this country, the traditional rivalry between a collection of schools, folklore and accumulation of years of competition often bring out the best in players and the worst in passionate supporters. This comes with the territory of the South African game. The only real competitors that have positive influence, come match day, are those warriors that are battling it out on the field. Once the preparation is done, coaches have “nuance” influence, but in large run the risk of getting it wrong, while spectators have positive influence in support, and support only. Players should always be left to play. It is incredible how modern society feeds off the game of rugby and gets way too involved in proceedings, whether bickering with each other, their opposition counter parts or barking at the referee, all of which could be deemed negative, but I suppose this is the “spice of sporting life…”

My feeling on Saturday was that Wynberg handled itself superbly. Going into the game, there was an expectation from the Bishops camp that they were going to ‘make right’ their narrow home loss in the first half.  But contrary to social media spectator predictions, it was not to be, with Wynberg finishing 34 – 17 ahead.

Motivation is truly a special thing.

Wynberg were quietly motivated for this fixture, but so were Bishops. Boosted by their 8 Craven Week players they must have felt that coming to Wynberg on Saturday was the ideal opportunity to show the school boy rugby public that they were the better rugby side of 2014.

For some reason this question was still in the balance until around 1pm on Saturday. With the late withdrawal of key players Keagan Timm and Bevan Barnard, news got out, even to the Weekend Argus, that Bishops could put one over on Wynberg come the 16th of August. Bishops didn’t disappoint in the brand of rugby they played as their first team hit our field dishing out everything they had.

This time there could be no room to debate. Despite what may have been said leading up to the fixture, Wynberg were the better team on the day.

The players relished the opportunity to play in front of their supportive Wynberg school mates, delivering inspiring performances. Niven Poleman put his body on the line time in and time out and Enrach Swanson showed real pace as he cut through a WP Craven backline to score the try of the game.

Nuggety Ryan Southern played with every inch of his talent to put in a sterling performance, scoring a vital first half try. Mercurial Karl Martin again dictated affairs from the back and the Wynberg tight five were immense.

Digby Webb, conditioning coach must be proud of his budgies …

It was a fantastic rugby performance, which to the naked eye shows dominance, but to those critically involved shows that preparation and hard work really do pay off.

With Paarl Gym and SACS to come, these boys have an opportunity to make history and become the best U19 team Wynberg has produced.

In the end as we are left to ponder about the day, the true rugby scholar realizes that winning is important. We play for the result, we train in the gym, practice on the field and sacrifice parts of our lives to be part of teams to compete with rivals. While we enjoy the rigours of competition and the ability to enjoy the brotherhood of being involved in a team, the most enjoyable times are those times celebrated with victory. Of this there is no doubt.

We certainly play to win.

But there are many facets to winning. The score line is one such facet, but of course the manner in which you win also determines the level of champion that you are. Yesterday and throughout the season Wynberg have proven this champion mind set, we have won lots of games, but we have yet to be bad winners.

The boys have played 70 minute rugby in every fixture, they have been the best prepared and conditioned team on display every time they have taken the field. Of course they have had some score line speed bumps in losing to Grey, Boys’ High and Paul Roos, but in large they have been the better side on the park and showed a team spirit and loyalty that has not been matched in 2014 by any opponent, a real credit to the coaches.

With only 2 matches left of this special year, one can only hope that we all feel that privilege of playing our respective parts in a magical season to be cherished for years to come.

If I can leave all with just one message:

Sport is most certainly a pendulum. We compete and we win, but we also lose. Winning streaks are fantastic but with every win you are simply one step closer to the inevitable loss.

This is the beauty of sport, if there was no loss at risk, there would be no thrill of the win. But no one wins forever. You cannot always control whether you win or lose, the only thing you can do is play and compete. Give your 100% and the cliché of ‘trying your best for your team’ is all that anyone can ask for. We are fortunate that we have teams on display this year that try their best and leave nothing on the park.

My message would be simple, being a bad loser is poor form, but can be understood when one plays to win – sometimes the disappointment of the loss can cause people to lose control and become bad losers.

In my opinion being a bad winner is worse, because, in that, there is no excuse. When the dice gets rolled and the win that both teams are desperate for, happen to fall on the odd or the even that belongs to Wynberg, I urge all of us to execute the mantra of being good winners.

The Wynberg coaching staff and boys were good winners yesterday and have been all season.

Without being judgemental I often see Old Boys getting it wrong on social media and sharing the obvious gloat. I strongly urge us always to remain humble from this social media perspective: there was a time not so long ago when it wasn’t that uncommon for Bishops or RBHS to run all over WBHS. Long may our preparation and playing ability continue: but please always remain respectful of the game and mindful of that pendulum sport dishes out, often when we least expect it.

The old adage that ‘you are only as good as your last game’ is entirely true in the world of sport.

As the sun comes out this morning we can say that, for now, Wynberg are champions …

Supera Moras

Kevin Musikanth

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