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At a packed, festive City Park, False Bay RFC produced a consummate performance against Stellenbosch University to reach the Finals of the President’s Cup, the winner’s chalice at the end of the Super League A. The final score was 38-21 after the Bay led 21-7 at the break.’


It’s a fact that the Mighty Maties do not take easily to the prospect of being beaten twice in a season by the same opposition and following the Bay’s victory in the round robin stage at Constantia, wise money was on Drikus Hanke’s Maties, bolstered by the return of many first choice players not available for the previous encounter.  


The students were immediately on the attack, seemingly blasting their opponents with an opening assault on their lines, a five metre lineout on the Bay line courtesy of two justified penalties. What followed epitomised the resolve and commitment of top of the table finishers, False Bay. First, lock Godwin Magenja pilfered the Maties lineout and False Bay systematically countered their way up the pitch to score a try, Magenja ball in hand, at the end of a lineout maul . Flyhalf Ewan Adams converted. A few minutes later, Masinga took an inside pass from Adams to cross the line, untouched after a fifteen metre run.


Maties, if they hadn’t realized it by then, now knew they were in for a torrid time, the imminent retirement of coach Johnno van der Walt added motivation for their opponents.


Within the first quarter, False Bay had extended their lead to three goals to nothing when eighthman Saulieg Arendse crossed the line. The powerfully built Arendse shone throughout the contest, carrying the ball powerfully, gaining metres at every attempt and was surely the outstanding player in a team of outstanding performances.


There is one thing everyone knows, on and off the pitch, never write Maties off, you will be made to pay. They were trying to unshackle themselves from tightly applied shackles of stifling defence and forward pressure by marauding, manic Bay forwards. The Maties front row was creaking at the seams under the pressure applied by the False Bay trio of Wayrin Losper, Vlam van Vuuren and Tahriq Allen, the first scrum a haunting display of power, wrath and venom.


That dreaded fightback was bound to happen, Maties pride courses too strongly through the veins of those given the honour of wearing the jersey, and just before the break, hooker Sean Swart scored from the back of a rolling maul, goaled by flyhalf Jurie Matthee to reduce False Bay’s lead to fourteen.


The second stanza started with the Maties still savouring the teste of blood, when fullback Hofmeyer Retied easily sliced through to score between the sticks, goaled by Matthee, who moments later reduced the points difference to three after goaling a mauled try by Gift Dlamini.


Three points and the Maties spectre loomed large and ominous, yet False Bay didn’t flinch. They doubled the three point lead with a penalty by Adams and then ran in two goals, one by Lukanyo Nomzanga and Captain Thabo Ngcongo, by the seventieth minute to end the contest, even though there were ten minutes to play. False Bay’s defence had sapped the Maties attacked of any fire, the Bay forwards had pummelled their opponents into submission, and the clear indication that this match was to belong to False bay and no other, sapped any energy of the students, who were ultimately well-beaten on the day.


A special mention needs to be made of referee Jaco Smith and his fellow officials for their impeccable handling of a high quality contest, the spectacle of which they added in no small measure.


In the other semi-final played alongside on City Park B, DurBell hung on to a slender lead against UCT, who were reduced to fourteen men for the majority of the contest as a player was ejected for alleged misconduct.


This sets up what has become a brutal rivalry over the last number of years between the Bay and their Northern Suburbs rivals. As yet, details of the match are unknown, but wherever and whenever it takes place, it is guaranteed to be a contest of the highest quality.


The Final will take place at Coetzenberg in Stellenbosch on Saturday. Kick off is at 7pm.


Supporters are encouraged to travel through to show support for False Bay and their departing Coaches.

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