False Bay bounced back to winning ways in their friendly match against long-term rivals, Durbell, at Constantia on Saturday. The final score was 14-12.
Adding to the euphoria of the day, the Bay’s under-20B “Badgers” delivered a 19-14 victory over Hamediehs away from home.
For both Gunner Hughes, head coach of False Bay, and his counterpart, Warren Petersen, the objectives of the day were simple: measure combinations; judge the ability of up-and-coming players against top quality opposition; and to a far lesser degree, deliver the result.
Hughes gained great insight, not only on the readiness of young players but the ability of his outfit to play an exciting, expansive brand of running rugby.
The Bay’s first try, a sweeping right-to-left-and-back-again affair started from their own half, and saw winger Mustaqim Jappie finish off in style.
Durbell, a physical team with big, solid forwards and backs, is a team which tests the resolve, physicality and commitment of any team. False Bay’s first half line up were left without any doubt of this but they carried themselves well.
Young players stood up to be counted, none less than still-under-20 forward, Josh du Toit, who was outstanding. Playing at lock, he delivered a comprehensive performance, as a primary source of lineout balls (as target for his team and pilferer of opposition ball) and a commanding performance in the loose.
Scrumhalf Daniel Heyns delivered a crisp service to flyhalf Dylan Freelance, who showed every minute of his experience in steering the ship.
Centre Joshua Florence also caught the eye, his replacement Muji van den Hoven classy when entering the fray.
It was the second half performance of False Bay’s front row which had the members of the front row federation cooing with delight. Veterans Wesley Chetty and Vlam van Vuuren, together with the powerhouse Tahriq Allen, punished their much-vaunted, very capable opponents.
False Bay have a bye this weekend and then travel to Brackenfell for the next of their friendly matches on the following Saturday. The Super League A season kicks off on Saturday April 8.
- Jon Harris is a member of False Bay Rugby Club.