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5 AUGUST 2017

Photos: Courtesy Gavin Withers Photography

False Bay RFC took another step towards Gold Cup qualification when they beat a game Brakenfell deep in the Northern Suburbs on Saturday. The final score was 43-10 after the visitors lead 24-3 at the break.


One thing that the Bay knew before they headed out on the N1 to Brakenfell was that this was going to be no pushover. The hosts, in their second year of SLA rugby have not been pushovers and it was clear that the defending champions were not going to be handed the result on a platter. Graham Knoop and his troops were equally determined to make the trip home with a full bag of five league points, although they had to resist a second half mini-fightback before regaining complete control to seal the victory.


The Bay were in complete control for the majority of the contest, stamping their authority on proceedings with a well-balanced performance. They opened the scoring with a try by scrum half Dylan Frylinck, set up through a classic break by centre Carl Koene, who made thirty metres before offloading to the try-hungry number nine. Fullback Adnan Osman converted. Minutes later dynamo Mustaqim Japie scored with the Bay’s other starting wing, Danie Roux getting on the scoresheet with a try of his own. Eighthman Michael Botha, who shone at the back of the scrum got the Bay’s bonus point when he crossed for the fourth try before the break. Brakenfell fullback Darien Hock converted a penalty for his team’s first half points.


It was a first half which demonstrated False Bay’s quality and resolve. Brakenfell gave their best but were simply swamped by a team focused on the task at hand, namely a bonus point victory. During the first half, the visitors played a simple style of rugby featuring a dominant pack of forwards and a backline hungry to run the ball and they swamped their hosts during this stanza.


The fields at Brakenfell are a little different to say the least. Firstly, they are marginally narrower than most standard pitches, although they meet the requirements. This can be something of a leveler in that the visitors, often unaccustomed to playing on a narrow pitch, run out of width and in the case of False Bay’s dangerous runners, the effect of their wings is negated somewhat. Nevertheless, the Bay used whatever space was on offer and put the result beyond doubt by half time.


After the break False Bay extended their lead with another try by Botha, which was converted by Karl Martin, further cementing the result. Kudos to the hosts as they simply refused to lie down. False Bay coach Johnno van der Walt used his bench early in the second half, resting some players with the knowledge of another tough encounter against UWC barely five days away. Knoop found himself kicking his heals in the sin bin for ten minutes, adjudged to have tackled a player illegally. His ten-minute enforced break signaled a step up in effort by the hosts and they threatened the Bay lines relentlessly during this period and longer. They were rewarded for their determination with a try by lock Christo Brandt, who had an outstanding game in general.  Hoke converted this for his team’s last points of the day.


It was a resistance that reminded the visitors that their hosts were no pushovers but once False Bay settled down with to their pattern, they showed their dominance with two more tries, one by flyhalf Merick Ward, the other by prop Simon Raw, now persona non grata in the mythical Federation of Front Rankers as a result of his six tries this season.


It was an emphatic victory over a team determined to surprise their more fancied opponents. The Bay, spearheaded by some outstanding individual performances, were full value for their seven try to one victory. Flank Taps Tsamondo was outstanding, as was Botha and Jodie Reineke. Knoop was special in all departments. Krone and centre partner Richard Lawson were quality and Frylinck was full value at scrum-half.


False Bay require one league point to qualify and join Tygerberg RFC in this year’s Gold Cup, the National Club Rugby Championships. The Florida Park club received an invitation as wild-card entries and are determined to make full use of the opportunity to showcase their club on this national platform. By time this report is seen by Community Newspapers readers, False Bay’s participation in the competition may well have been decided. Hamiltons can still pip the Constantia club at the post should the Bay falter against UWC and Hammies beat Maties and Victorians with bonus points in their last two matches.


As focus begins to shift to the Gold Cup, there is still so much at stake.

- Jon Harris

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