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1 July 2017

Photos: Courtesy Gavin Withers Photography

False Bay RFC stormed to an easy victory over a determined Primrose at Constantia on Saturday. The final score was 83-24 after the home team lead 45-14 at the break.


Claremont-based Primrose in their first match since their lengthy mid-season break were far more competitive than the score suggests and gathered a valuable four-try bonus point from the contest. The Roses are currently deep in the relegation zone of the SLA although to be fair their position on the table is skewed by the fact that they have only played six matches to date, versus the average eight matches most other clubs have completed. That said, they have only been victorious once this season.


All considered the visitors could easily have employed a spoiling game, aimed at containing their more fancied hosts and in the process the scoreboard, yet they showed a refreshing willingness to spread the ball whenever they had possession. In the vanguard of their efforts was flank Weslie Adams who worked tirelessly throughout the match, featuring on attack and defence. His commitment to his team’s cause was palpable and epitomised the passion with which the Roses played. Centres Dylan Malefanie and Neceedo Petersen were full of running and flyhalf Edgar Syfers was a more than competent marshall at pivot.


Primrose walked away from the contest soundly beaten but they salvaged sufficient pride and in the process a valuable bonus point for their four try haul.


But the day simply belonged to the Bay, who scored twelve tries in their emphatic victory. They possibly left a few scores on the Constantia turf but that was expected considering the running game they employed. They gave a valuable start to a number of players, all of whom gratefully grabbed the opportunity. Indeed only eight Gold Cup finalists took to the pitch on Saturday, an indicator of the depth at the Constantia club.


The Champions were wily enough to limit the breakdown, their plan to spread the ball as much as possible a winner on the day. Indeed the enjoyment of the players with this license to play was obvious and it was a shard pleasure when it came to the hat-trick of tight-head prop Simon Raw who converted his first- half brace to a treble with a 45 metre dummy and sprint for the line, which had the crowd in raptures. This young man has improved as the season has progressed, his work rate a feature of his game.


Another player revelling in the space on the day was wing Mustaqeem Jappi who too scored a treble and had a hand in a number of other tries and entertaining moves. His enjoyment of any opportunity to play the game is infectious, his talent a pleasure to watch in action. He and wing partner Niyaaz Johnson thrived on the space and possession but it was the work of those inside of them which delivered the surfeit of opportunity.


Flyhalf Meryck Ward is growing in stature and gets his line away smoothly while the experienced Ridhaa Damon has his back in tight situations. Full back Karl Martin has a booming boot and is not afraid to run. It is another Wynberg Boys High School Old Boy who is outstanding week after week. Centre Riaan O’Neil continues his exceptional form and his developing a solid duo with centre partner Carl Kohne.


Up front lock Jan Ferreira was workmanlike, a feature of any good tight lock, while flanks Jody Reyneke and Brandon Wood worked hard in all phases. Crowd darling Taps Tsomondo didn’t disappoint with his power play when he joined the fray while reserve hooker Roan Dalzell got a try for his industrious efforts.


The SLA is strewn with banana peels this season. While there is a clear division between the top teams and the bottom, victory does not belong to those in the top section and every team will deliver an impassioned performance against them.  How those teams react to that weekly challenge is up to them and is an indicator of the maturity and attitude of all title contenders.


The Bay having successfully and emphatically dispatched of the challenge of Primrose, now turn their attention to a similar challenge. They travel to Pniel to take on Villagers who prop up the SLA.  Log position is no determination of the result and Bay coach Johnno van der Walt will prepare his charges for a tough encounter in scenic Stellenbosch. With Victorians and Durbanville on the horizon for the Bay, the wily coach will certainly take nothing for granted and will surely put his strongest team forward to build momentum for these two all-important fixtures.


Kick off in Pniel is at 4pm with first games starting at 1.30pm.

- Jon Harris

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