STOR-AGE FALSE BAY STORM TYGERBERG
by Jon Harris
Stor-Age False Bay RFC continued their impressive form when they overcame a game Tygerberg at Constantia on Saturday. The final score was 57-20 after the Bay led 31-15 at the half time break.
With the late afternoon arrival of a storm expected, those in attendance were hoping that the squall would hold off long enough to allow something of a rugby spectacle. They were not disappointed as the Constantia outfit created a storm of their own, systematically dismantling their opponents.
Tygerberg have a big and physical pack of forwards and they were detailed to front up to the hosts to create space for their speedy backs. They did not disappoint, especially in the first half hour, where they appeared to have an advantage in the forward exchanges as they harried the Bay and at times outmuscled them in the rucks.
But the Bay is proving to be a class outfit, evidence of which is their patience and refusal to panic. They absorbed what the visitors had to throw at them and as the contest progressed they began to take control of the forward exchanges, aided by their superior conditioning and the apparent lack of the same amongst their opposition.
The home side had opened the scoring with a well executed try by wing Jaques van Staden, who dotted down after receiving the ball at the end of some wonderful interpassing. Flyhalf Andri Claasens converted.
The visitors were stung into action and by contrast the home side seemed surprised at the ease of the score. The Tygerberg forwards, led by captain Anton Lambrecht, continued to take the game to the Bay but their intensity waned as the half progressed and they were met by the resilient resistance of the hosts. Flyhalf Junaid Arendse reduced the Bay’s lead to four with a penalty conversion and Claasens bagged one for the hosts to restore the seven point lead.
Nerves started to jangle amongst the home crowd, who had witnessed False Bay’s Second and Third Teams face stiff contests in their matches earlier. Tigerish Tygerberg hooker Charlton van Jaarsveld literally waltzed over for a try off a mall set up from a line kick as the normally impeccably organised Bay defence left a gaping hole which he exploited. Arendse levelled the scores and the contest was alive.
False Bay proceeded to build their intensity, much like the squall which was approaching. Their forwards took a firm grip on proceedings, starving their opponents of quality possession and draining them of the energy they required to maintain the challenge.
Eighthman Ryan Olivier crashed over at the back of a driving mall, which was set up from a penalty line kick. A few minutes later centre Jason Pretorius sliced through the middle after receiving the ball from lock Graham Knoop who had pounded his way through a number of failed tackles in an exciting counter attack started on the halfway line. Shortly before the break Knoop scored the Bay’s bonus point try. Claasens converted each of these.
Tygerberg centre Rouwan Appels scored in between the Bay’s third and fourth tries to keep the home side honest and focused, a strong reminder that the visitors were in no mood to capitulate.
The second half however showed the class of the False Bay squad. Their dominance of the first stanza was transformed into complete control as their powerful bench upped the ante as they were introduced to the fray.
Bay captain Michael Poppmeier crashed over for a well worked try off a lineout, soon followed by Olivier’s second and later replacement prop Ashley Wells scored on debut for the club he watched as a schoolboy. Claasens converted all three.
Replacement lock Justin Whittaker scored False Bay’s eighth try a few minutes before time, the only unconverted Bay score of the day. Diminutive wing Justin Carolus who had kept the Bay defences on their toes all day was rewarded for his outstanding play with a try to give his team their tally for the day.
False Bay built this convincing victory not only on outstanding team work from the full squad of twenty two but also on the backs of some remarkable individual efforts. Loosehead prop Wesley Chetty carried the ball well and was solid in the scrums. Knoop and Poppmeier dominated the lineouts and caught the eye in the tight loose. Flank Brent Stevens was lethal when tackling, his partner Justin van Winkle a nuisance at the breakdown and Olivier completing a high performing loose trio.
At the back Claasens marshalled proceedings well, comfortable with the quality possession he received from scrumhalf Ridhaa Damon. Centre Angelo MacKaiser is growing in stature and coming into his own, confident in his ability and forming an exciting partnership with Pretorius. Fullback Byron Mohr is all dependability at the back, his experience a staff for his younger team mates to lean upon. Again wing Taliep Johnson quickened pulses with the ball in hand and van Staden was impressive in the right wing berth.
Tygerberg’s captain Lambrecht simply refused to give up. He contested anything he was close to and he was always close to the action on the day. His enthusiasm sometimes testing the referee’s goodwill but his play was always honest and well-intended. His locks JP Kellerman and Leigh Clarke never let their team down while fullback Malcolm Heyn and wing Enslin Solomon also caught the eye.
It was an entertaining match filled with hard and honest rugby. Referee Matt Kemp as always handled proceedings well and not once needed to employ any of the cards in his pocket, often necessary in keenly contested matches.
Stor-Age False Bay meets Primrose in a Southern Suburbs derby on Saturday at Rosmead Avenue in Kenilworth. Kick off is at 3.30pm.