BAY PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGE
It seems as if the 2015 SLA rugby season has barely finished and already the very exciting 2016 season is upon False Bay RFC.
Rugby has morphed into a nigh on twelve month season at professional level, so it is not surprising that other tiers of the sport follow suit. The Bay’s highly successful season last year has opened new horizons for the club, most notably participation in the inaugural Gold Cup at the end of this season. Formerly the Community Cup, False Bay qualified by virtue of being the highest non-University finisher in SLA2015. The newly formatted competition takes place after SLA2016 and includes exciting developments such as televised matches from club venues.
After an all-round year of success, the Constantia club has not been sitting on its hands waiting for the new season to start. Off the pitch work is ongoing, contributing to its popularity amongst club rugby followers. True measurement comes from on the field performances and the Bay certainly enjoyed its fair share of that last year across its spectrum of teams, most notably the First XV.
Depth is key to any club’s success and this depth extends to team management. False Bay is blessed with quality coaches throughout their structure, including Pieter Benade looking after the Second XV, Ryan van Niekerk capably guiding the Thirds and Frans “Bossie” Boshoff the Under 20s. Boshoff coached the SA National Defence Force team at the Forces Rugby World Cup in England last year and is joined by the experienced and talented Chris Hewetson.
Young school leavers seeking a warm and competitive club environment to continue their rugby are encouraged to join False Bay RFC. Ian Morris, Under 20 Development Manager says, “We welcome players from all schools in the south, not only the traditional power houses but Plumstead, Bergvliet, Zwaanswyk, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Simonstown too”.
The Under 20 group, transient by nature of its age, proudly sports three of last year’s players still available to play in their competition currently training with the Senior squad. Indeed proof that talent at all levels is recognised and rewarded. Boshoff has a strong management team with Mario van Zyl looking after the second of the Bay’s two teams in this league. Practices have already started and interested players are invited to attend on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6pm onwards.
Seniors Head Coach Jonno van der Walt is determined to improve on the team’s performances of last season. The pre-season friendly matches in March are testimony to this, with the Bay facing Hamiltons, Durbell and Maties in a schedule most would avoid.
“We have a healthy looking squad for the upcoming season and the biggest challenge will no doubt be player management, especially considering the Gold Cup extension”, says van der Walt.
“2016 will be a tough year for us in many ways”, he continued. “Tough to better a memorable 2015 season and tough because every team in the league will want to beat us”.
In what is becoming an annual exercise, False Bay host the Universities participating in the Varsity Cup for “practice chukkas”, matches which allow the coaches to test their combinations and iron out any issues. This Saturday UWC face Victorians at 2pm and then the Bay hosts Maties at 3.30pm. Saturday 30 January sees the Bay host UCT. These two match days has value to the club supporter too, allowing a sneak preview of available talent while enjoying a cold beverage from the clubhouse.