A REMARKABLE YEAR
5 December 2017
Photos: Courtesy Gavin Withers Photography
As a new year peeks its head over the horizon, False Bay RFC reflect on the most successful season in their 88-year history, a year in which they added the Gold Cup to their trophy cabinet and a Reserve League title which was secured by their Fifth team, affectionately known as the FIFOs.
It was success pretty much across the board as their Second and Third Teams ended the season in the top three. Their Under 20 A team, contesting a very competitive league, acquitted themselves admirably and are already hard at work in preparation for next season.
The season was a fitting send off for Club President, Louis de Waal, who retired after 36 years as President of the Club. This icon of the WP Club game retired at the end of the season and has been awarded the status of Patron of False Bay RFC in recognition of his dedicated service. He made an indelible mark in rugby in the Western Province through his drive and dedication.
Age is no longer a game-breaker if a player has talent and three recent players from these ranks can attest to this. Lock Brandon Wood, barely qualified as a Senior, is by now a seasoned First XV player approaching fifty caps for the Club’s First XV. Eighthamn Laaiik Felton and flyhalf Diminic Coetzee are two standout players juniors who were given a chance to be a part of the Bay’s Gold Cup squad, motivation for any player freshly out of school to continue their rugby development in the club ranks. The club offers an environment where a player’s skills are developed, a healthy lifestyle is encouraged, all the while developing social skills.
False Bay’s Under 20 section, with a young and energetic coaching staff, restart training on 8 January 2018 and interested players are welcome to contact Anthony Pollecutt on 083 461 4968 for further information.
The Bay’s 2017 season was remarkable. They won the Super League A and ended runner up in the Gold Cup, their most successful season since they won the Grand Challenge in 1972. This year they were beaten to the SLA title by a rampant Stellenbosch University, the only team to beat the Constantia club this season in all competitions. Indeed, the match between these two teams at Coetzenberg in May was a wonderful advert for the Club game. The students scored a try in the fourth minute of injury time for a 41-40 victory.
Tough as that loss was to manage, Bay coach Johnno van der Walt and his team built on the positives and used the experience to their advantage in the Gold Cup.
“The efforts and commitment displayed by players and management has been nothing short of remarkable”, says Club Captain Byron Mohr. “On and off the field we strive to be the best rugby club in the country, always mindful of giving back to the community”, he said in reference to the efforts of the players and committee to be involved in the community.
“The rugby relationships and memories made this past season will remain with us forever, which in the end is the reason we play the wonderful game”.
That ethos of rugby enjoyment was evident at this year’s WP Score Club Sevens tournament, where False Bay, coached by Pieter Benade and Alan Footman, ended runners up to deserved winners, St George’s of Strand. Benade is developing his Sevens coaching skills and the format offers an opportunity for players from all teams the opportunity to stake a claim to compete at the tournament. Benade, Nizaam Johnson, Justin Filie and Roemark Smith were selected for various teams at the end of the tournament.
As evidenced by the performances of its teams, the competitive environment balanced with warm camaraderie is a recipe which works. With three teams competing in the Reserve League, Friday nights at the club is seldom dull as one or more of these teams hosts teams from across the Peninsula in a competitive league which produces quality rugby. The False Bay FIFOs, long one of the top teams in this league brought home the cup for the club as they crowned their season with the Reserve League title. This and the Bay’s two other teams offer an environment which tests and developes a player’s skills in a competitive environment.
Headline-grabbing success may have belonged to Graham Knoop’s First XV, who blazed a friendship trail from Kathu to Durban and saw contented visitors from George and Windhoek return home with a smile on their faces and rugby friendships to last a lifetime. That success was shared with all at the club, acknowledgement of the combined effort as a club. Success was not limited to the flagship team as a glance across the various league tables attests.
It is a season which will be remembered for many years to come but is not the end of the trail for those at the club. Goals have been set and keeping False Bay RFC relevant, successful and in the vanguard of WP Club Rugby is central to these.