False Bay Rugby Club produced resounding victories on both sides of the gender divide on Saturday.
Their women’s team, in their maiden league match, maintained a clean slate against Kuils River in their 53-0 victory. Their male counterparts also produced sparkling all-round rugby by their full squad to register a 66-7 victory over a gallant SK Walmers at Constantia.
First up were the damsels, who had patiently waited for the announcement of the fixtures, then being swept up with news that they would be travelling to Kuils River just four days later, their excitement unconstrained by the time match day arrived.
The beauty of this league is that there are historical favourites, no last-year’s winners and that only a few clubs are a known quantity. It’s all up to preparation and execution, desire and commitment.
Despite the obvious daylight in the scoreline, Kuils River were no pushover. The match was a physical encounter, be it in the scrums, loose play or line breaks, both sides gave their all, their delight and determination obvious in the quality of play on display from both squads. The platform for the victory was most certainly set by the Bay forwards, who sucked their opponents into their drives and mauls, creating the space for the marauding backs to dominate with pace and slick handling. As with any team’s sound performance, defence is the cornerstone of any game, the Bay team taking this fully to heart.
“Our teamwork was undoubtedly an outstanding feature of our play”, said a proud Gershon Daniels, co-coach. “We rallied as a unit, especially on defence.”
The Bay loose trio of Odette Booysen, Briege Williams and Sibahle Nciki, were outstanding, garnering praise from spectators at the match.
The False Bay women’s team host the Maties women’s team at Constantia on Friday night. The teams met in a very entertaining friendly match at the end of last season and this fixture is a perfect opportunity for rugby lovers interested in the competitive game that is women’s rugby. You will be surprised and may well become a loyal supporter of the format.
While the damsels were causing distress in Kuils River, Motorvaps False Bay RFC were doing much the same in Constantia.
Bottom-of-the table SK Walmers did not start the day off well, forfeiting their under-20 fixture. This added salt to the wounds of the currently crippled club as their First XV are automatically docked one league point. Although they still have six matches to the end of their campaign, the prognosis on survival in the SLA does not bode well.
Maintaining player interest is tough under these circumstances and with clubs only required to enter two senior teams, False Bay Third XV faced an afternoon on the sidelines. Fortunately, the Bay Threes hosted Brackenfell in a friendly match as part of the day’s programme. The home side won and kudos to coaches at both clubs for maintaining the interest, commitment and fitness of their charges.
And so onto the main match, the curtain for which was raised by an emphatic and entertaining victory by the hitherto unbeaten False Bay Seconds.
Walmers’s veteran second-rower, Madeeg Davids, led his team on to the pitch and judging by their start to the encounter, they were certainly not going to lie down for their hosts. They immediately took the challenge to False Bay, entering their quarter within the first few minutes, their expected opening assault successfully rebuffed.
Having resisted that attack, the Constantia outfit scored the first of their ten tries, eight of which were converted.
Although proceedings were mostly dominated by the Bay, Walmers never gave up, launching attacks off the sparse possession they secured, most of which was blunted by determined defence. Fullback, Thaaqib Ryland, scored his team’s only try, which was converted by Andy Huyshamen.
It was a sound 23-man performance by False Bay and it would be remiss to single out individuals although loosehead prop Johnny Raphael had the front row veterans in the stands cooing with delight at his scrumming performance and flank, Saudiegh Arendse, put in an industrious, no-frills but outstanding performance.
This Saturday, False Bay host Hamilton in a much-anticipated clash. Recent history between the two clubs in the SLA is of no importance. Simply, there has been no official action over the past three years, the one friendly going the way of the Bay. This is a traditional derby and any derby is guaranteed to be closely contested, form and records counting for little.
Bay coach, Johnno van der Walt, will be happy with the performance his team delivered on Saturday. The slickness of their game creates some momentum going into the final three matches of the round robin phase of SLA2022.
His team follow up their match on Saturday with a Varsity double, Maties at home and then UCT at the Green Mile.
Saturday’s programme promises to be one of high stakes and quality rugby. The Second XV clash is a must-see contest.
Unbeaten log-leaders, False Bay, will have to be vigilant in their quest to maintain their position and record. It will be an ideal introduction to the main game and promises to entertain from beginning to end.
The under-20 match, kicks off the day’s programme at 1.30pm. Hammies’s under-20s are unbeaten on top of the log with False Bay second, having suffered just one defeat to date. It doesn’t get better than this.
If you love rugby, let alone club rugby, come down to Constantia on Saturday to get your money’s worth. It’s end-to-end quality, high-stakes rugby.
Pupils enter free of charge, while adults pay R20.
• Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.