FALSE BAY RFC WRAP UP PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES
Motorvaps False Bay RFC hosted Brackenfell Rugby Club at Constantia last Saturday in the last of their pre-season friendly matches. Although the final score may not be as important as match proceedings, the Bay won 36-17.
The post-Covid club rugby scene is showing signs of weathering, many clubs unable to keep the momentum through two false starts to the 2020 and 2021 season and as a result, depth at some clubs is lacking. Last week, Brackenfell, who always possessed a strong Under 20 section, were forced to withdraw on the eve of the fixture as a result of a current lack of depth.
Countering that negative to an otherwise enjoyable club day was the announcement of the False Bay Women’s team. Having launched in 2020, just before the announcement of Level 5 Lockdown restrictions, coach Zoe Naude has grown her squad of dedicated players from around twelve to an enthusiastic, dedicated group of more than forty Under 18 and Senior players.
Initially competing the Sevens format while the mix of tight forwards was being bolstered, Naude recently launched her Fifteens-format team, beating Tygerberg RFC at Sea Point 25-0 the week before in the Hamilton’s versus Tygerberg Friendly programme. Reports filtering back to home base were that this was a special outfit delivering quality rugby entertainment that would convert even the purist who assumed that Women's Rugby was all screeches and apologies.
Those who witnessed False Bay hosting of the Brackenfell Women’s team were left thoroughly entertained and even humbled if they were of the cynical kind.
The Bay, facing a physically bigger visiting outfit, played their game at pace, running at the gaps as opposed to the tackler, displaying skills-levels that were testimony to their hard work to date. The pace at which they played, and the confidence in execution showed in no uncertain terms that these players worked exceptionally hard at practice and then some on their own. No half measures and these athletes are set to grow in stature as their season and playing careers progress. Along the way they are certain to gather a supporters base hungry for the raw energy of players thriving on a sport they love.
Contrary to the assumption that players are purely from areas nearby to the Constantia-based club, many players are reliant on public transport from areas such as Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha to join team mates on practice nights. Compounding the challenge of getting to practice is the fact that many players are not financially positioned to participate in a sport which has an expensive kit investment. Boots for instance are expensive, even the cheaper in the range costing a fortnight’s salary.
Club sponsorship of course has helped, rugby jerseys for one paid for by team sponsors Bruce Jack Wines and Fidelity ADT and the shorts by Ross Demolition, but additional items such as socks are still in need.
Yet this does not discourage the players and management and the energy on and off the pitch is vibrant, the commitment of the players to each other, their team and club pure and inspirational.
Women's Rugby around the Globe is burgeoning, certainly a growth area in one of the World’s rapidly growing sports and match-days may soon feature another arrow in the quiver, adding to the unique entertainment value that is Club Rugby.
Potential sponsors of this segment of False Bay Rugby Club are welcome to contact General Manager Rugby, Mike Stakemire on 082 700 0186 to explore.
The Bay’s Senior teams then took to the pitch in their final outing before the start of their SLA2022 season on 2 April. Brackenfell, despite the absence of a Third XV, have sufficient depth to compete and delivered sound performances against the Bay.
Motorvaps False Bay RFC coach Johnno van der Walt and the coaching panel across the leagues may be the envy of some clubs across the Peninsula, but their fortuitous position has come as a result of hard work and a determination to keep the interest of the players while dealing with the repeated interruptions caused by the Covid pandemic. They travel to Mamre on 2 April for their opening fixture against Hamlets, who were promoted at the end of the 2019 season but who are yet to play one minute in the SLA.