False Bay RFC travelled down the N2 last Saturday to take on newly-promoted Helderberg in a blustery Strand for the first of their pre-season friendly matches.
While neither coaches placed too much importance on scorelines, it is the hosts who proudly hold bragging rights for the day’s results with a 24-10 victory.
Bay coach, Gunner Hughes was given ample opportunity to measure the depth of his talent pool. Travelling without a baker’s dozen of players normally regarded as first choice, Hughes was able to gage the readiness of younger talent and their ability to handle that step-up to face some of the more physical teams in the Super League A.
His counterpart, Koos Eksteen, has a more settled squad, his task more that of deciding on combinations than finalising his team.
The friendly journey doesn’t get any easier from here on in, with Durbell arriving at Constantia on Saturday, followed by Brackenfell and Uni-Mil.
In the earlier matches on the day, False Bay’s Second and Third Teams narrowly lost their encounters in typical pre-season matches littered with errors from both sides but delivering great promise nevertheless. The Bay’s under-20 A team deservedly took honours in their 17-3 triumph, but again coach Ashley Pears won’t be reading too much into that other than the motivational and confidence aspect.
The Bay have been working hard on preparing for the season, their edge in fitness on Saturday an endorsement of the effort invested. Among those making their debut for the Bay’s senior sides last weekend were seven of the club’s under-20 A team of last season.
False Bay’s list of senior absentees for last week, which is expected to continue for this Saturday, was partially due to a number of players attending the Thailand Tens tournament. This week sees a number of players, including powerhouse prop Taariq Alen, lock Busanda Mabena, Niyaz Johnson and Ewan Adams, involved in a Western Province in a practice match on Friday.
The Bay’s opponents for Saturday, Durbell, too will be effected by the call up.
Matches kick off at 1.30 pm. All are welcome.
- Jon Harris is a member of False Bay Rugby Club.