Bay crown a remarkable year
False Bay RFC’s remarkably successful SLB season was rubber-stamped at the annual WP rugby Awards when they collected four trophies as respective league champions.
The Constantia club’s First, Second and Third teams each convincingly won their leagues and as a matter of particular pride, their under 20 A team sealed their champion’s status in the final match of the season.
It has been a season with milestones aplenty and new records, club and league, being set. The Bay’s superiority in the SLB is demonstrated in a number of ways. Their flagship team, the First XV, comfortably won the competition in terms of league points. This was underpinned by a points difference which is nothing short of stupefying. They finished the season with a positive points difference of 764, scoring an average of 52 points per match with a only a tad short of 10 points being scored against them per match.
All too often in the SLB the success of a club’s senior squad is not matched by the second and third stringers. Not so the case at False Bay this year. Coach Ryan van Niekerk guided his Second XV to what is a WP record since the introduction of the 5-point scoring system. His outfit, which played an entertaining brand of complete rugby, bagged a full house of 90 league points out of their 18 matches. They remained unbeaten throughout the season, including their friendly matches, and underlined their superiority by taking a full 5 league points in every match they contested.
Success and entertaining rugby continued in the Third XV, where Pieter Benade’s team dropped only 2 league points and conceding the least amount of points in any league in the Union on their unbeaten run to the title.
The achievement which garnered many accolades amongst the club’s supporters was that of the Under 20A, who secured their title in the final match of the season. Coach Brendon Fogarty, supported by a strong panel of assistants and managers, created an environment wherein young rugby players were able to express their talent in a team with a strong spirit and work ethic, while enjoying being an integral part of a successful club, relishing in the interaction with the senior players.
Continuing in the rich vein of success, False Bay’s Fourth Team, affectionately known as the FIFOs, narrowly missed securing the Reserve League title, an extremely competitive league teeming with talent which would not be amiss higher up.
The time has come for the Bay to bid farewell to one of their most successful coaches in recent years. Kevin Musikanth was appointed as UCT’s Director of Rugby in July but filled a dual role at the two clubs as he completed his tenure at the Bay. Musikanth leaves the club with a proud record and well-prepared for the challenge of improving the Ikeys’ performances in the Varsity Cup, which have regressed over the last two years.
False Bay had already appointed Musikanth’s replacement in July but opted to retain the focus of the team in the context of their stated goal of winning the Super League B. Although five teams will be promoted into an expanded SLA format, the club felt that their pre-season objective of winning the league remained primary to create momentum and build interest and support. Their presence in this year’s SLB was due to an expanded relegation zone, where two teams instead of one dropped down, the Bay narrowly faltering and suffering relegation.
Musikanth was appointed as Head Coach for 2013, with last year’s coach Chris Hewetson retained as an assistant. Hewetson had worked hard in last year’s SLA and his influence and experience was key to consistency. The coaching panel was extended to included recent former playing stalwarts, Jonno van der Walt and Ryan “Slab” Williams. Progression management was undoubtedly a factor in the off-season planning and proved to be an astute ploy in the light of Musikanth’s appointment.
Van der Walt has been appointed to take over as Head Coach with Williams and Hewetson as his assistants. They have gained valuable exposure and experience this season, especially in the latter stages when they took up some of the slack unavoidably created by Musikanth’s dual role. Van der Walt is an astute tactician and backline coach, while Williams is an analyst par excellence.
“We have retained 95% of this year’s squad for next year”, says Williams. “The performances of our second and third teams have also unearthed some promising players and the young talent of last year has matured in the environment of those teams success.
“We have some quality players joining, further bolstering our depth, which we will need in the tough SLA”, says Williams.
False Bay is one of only two Super League A clubs in the Southern Suburbs and the success of this year is apt validation for young players in the catchment area seeking a competitive rugby club with a warm environment.
The players were given the month of October as rest and began pre-season fitness as from November. Any players wishing to join the weekly sessions are welcome to attend every Thursday from 7 November. These kick off at 6.45 pm sharp and will run until 7.45pm under the watchful eye of the coaching panel.