BAY BEAT DURBELL
29 July 2017
Photos: Courtesy Gavin Withers Photography
False Bay RFC took a step closer to Gold Cup qualification when they convincingly beat their Northern Suburbs rivals, Durbell at Constantia on Saturday. The final score was 28-12 after the Bay lead 14-5 at the break.
A close and keen rivalry has been developed between the two clubs over the last number of years and with Durbell having won all of their last eight matches this season, the Bay knew well that this was going to be no easy fixture. Mathematically the Northern Boys could still have qualified with a victory for the upcoming Gold Cup and in the process put substantial pressure on the Constantia club who have two away matches left in their season, both tricky encounters.
If the earlier games between the two clubs was anything to go by, the Bay were certainly not going to have it all their own way. Although False Bay delivered a full house of victories on the day, each and every players in the preceding three matches knew all too well that he had participated in a game of physically demanding rugby. The main game proved to be no different.
False Bay certainly did not expect a walk in the park and what ensued was a physical, high quality encounter which saw some battered bodies return to the sheds but left no doubt as to who was the better of the two teams. One team perhaps traded some rugby for physicality and were left ruing their penchant to make the ball secondary focus. The result would have been more closely contest had they relied on their tried and tested power-play pattern displayed over the last number of years.
That is however detracting from the quality spectacle on display. The Bay has been showing steady improvement as the season has progressed, each member of the squad fully aware of the demands and expectations on him. Durbell, after an ignominies start to their season with three losses out of their first three matches, came to Constantia bent on reversing recent history wherein they have not beaten the Bay in at least four consecutive meetings.
It was not to be. False Bay delivered a resounding performance built on forward dominance and tight defence. The Bay held the upper hand for most of the contest yet ironically the visitors reversed that dominance when they were down to thirteen men as a result of two almost-simultaneous yellow cards issued for foul play. During this period the visitors were relentless on attack and crossed for one of their two tries, by lock Daniel Botha.
This was the first time that Durbell had troubled the scoreboard handlers. The Constantia outfit opened the scoring with a try by Danie Roux, converted by Adnaan Osman and then a few minutes later they were awarded a penalty try after some cynical play stopped the hosts en route to the try line. These are automatic seven point tries with a sanctioning of a yellow card for the perpetrator.
The quality of the contest was typical of two top teams with everything to lose. Up front the home side were dominant. In the scrums Ashley Wells, Vlam van Vuuren and Simon Raw were supreme. Skipper Graham Knoop was outstanding in all facets of the game, a bane of the Durbell lineout as he pilfered a number seemingly at will. His lock partner Brandon Wood had a high work rate and later shifted to flank, where he continued to shine. He was rewarded with a well-worked try. The Bay’s starting loose trio were outstanding. Flank Jody Reineke carried powerfully, his partner Michael Botha producing another high quality performance while eighthman Ryan Olivier again delivered a classy performance.
In the backs scrumhalf Ridhaa Damon was showing deft touches before suffering concussion at the end of the first quarter. His replacement Dylon Frylinck was outstanding and centres Riaan O’Neil and Richard Lawson superb, the latter delivering his best performance to date in a Bay shirt. At the back fullback Adnaan Osman is so steady his high quality performances appear standard fare.
Durbanville’s tries were scored by Botha and flank Conway Pretorius. Scrumhalf Dion Thiart converted one. False Bay scored a penalty try and Roux, O’Neil and Wood accounted for their other three tires. Osman converted three.
False Bay now head the SLA with two matches left. They head to Brackenfell on Saturday and then to UWC a week later, neither easy contests by any means. Beating reigning champions and log-leaders sufficient motivation for any team. Victory over a top gun is validation of their season, home turf the advantage.
“Our build up since the two week break has been nothing short of effort and sacrifice by the guys”, says van der Walt. “Our focus has been on each and every opponent with an end goal of qualifying for the Gold Cup.
“We have two tough encounters left, Brackenfell and UWC, both away”, he said. “There is still a lot to play for in 2017 SLA”.
Kick off at Brackenfell is at 4pm with first matches starting at 1.30. All are welcome and False Bay supporters are urged to make the trip to Brakenfell.