DirectAxis False Bay RFC got their SLA2019 season off to a winning start when they beat a never-say-die SK Walmer at The Track in Green Point on Saturday. The final score was 39-24 after the visitors led 29-12 at the break.
The Track is a bogey venue for many a visiting team, SKW always lifting themselves in front of their home crowd. Add to this the quality of a side such as their 2019 squad and it is obvious that they promise to be a force at away venues too.
It was the home team which opened the scoreboard with a well-taken try by right wing, Bernardo Botha off steady phase-play. Walmer were all energy in the opening half hour, their forwards competing well and their backs threatening with ball in hand. False Bay appeared to be prepared for this, absorbing everything their hosts had to offer and then striking back when the opportunity presented.
Adnaan Osman opened the Bay’s account with a smoothly struck penalty and minutes later, livewire scrumhalf Niaaz Johnsen darted over for a try.
The Bay continued to exert pressure on their opponents. The scrum battle was one of the highlights of the first half, the Kloof’s much vaunted front row of Bjorgen Julies, Gary Topkim and Sameer Davids, solid and powerful and in no mood to be shown up by the visitors. After the first few scrums, the Bay front row of David Geffen, Vlam van Vuuren and Wesley Futter, in his fiftieth appearance for his club, took ascendency, creating a solid platform at the same time exerting pressure on the opposing put-in.
Bay darling, wing Danie Roux scored his customary swashbuckling try which started on the halfway line, off an inside pass from centre Ryan Southern, the practiced move wrongfooting SKW defences at the same time amplifying the wing’s explosive power. Osman converted and minutes later, Chadley Cloete on the left wing, scored the first of his hat trick.
At this point it looked as if the visitors has weathered the storm at The Track. If the impression has been created that until this point there was only one team on that track, that was not so. The hosts were a threatening, well-drilled and talented outfit who tested False Bay’s defence throughout the contest. Perennial thorn-in-the-side for defences, Danwill Erasmus seemed to find space to exploit and fullback Ramiz Osman’s innate ability to glide into space kept the visitors on their toes.
The Kloof loose trio contested on the ground well, and burly lock Madeeg Davids never fails to perform, his on field longevity the only sign of his advancing years.
With the score at 22-5 and a few minutes to play in the opening stanza, it appeared as though the Constantia outfit were set for an easy victory. That appearance would be to the uninformed club rugby follower only and it was a try by Erasmus, converted by flyhalf Yasif Davids, which reduced the Bay’s lead to ten points and well within striking distance. Cloete’s second try for the visitors, converted by Osman, restored False Bay’s lead to seventeen points at the break.
SK Walmer returned after the break, determined and full of running, placing their visitors under pressure, which converted to points through a try by scrumhalf Raqib Siljeurs, goaled by Davids. The points difference was reduced to ten points and the Kloof were at their most dangerous.
What ensued cost them valuable momentum, ending their opportunity to cause an upset at the end. False Bay coach Johnno van der Walt had by this stage hardly turned to his bench, so the point is moot but another score by the home side would have exerted uncomfortable pressure on False Bay, if not for the players then certainly for their loyal supporters in the stands. Play was interrupted for almost twenty minutes as crowd behaviour on the far side of the pitch resulted in match officials being concerned for their safety.
After a lengthy break, play was resumed and it was False Bay who reignited their engines sooner, blotting out the home side’s efforts with a try by hooker Roan Dalzell. Although Kloof scored a try in reply, hooker Topkin controlling the ball well at the back of a driving maul, the result appeared sealed, confirmed when Cloete scored his hat trick to give the Bay a fifteen-point win.
False Bay travel to Kenilworth on Saturday to face newly promoted Primrose. Games start at 1.30 with the main encounter kicking off at 4pm.