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24 June 2017

Photos: Courtesy Gavin Withers Photography

False Bay RFC returned from an abbreviated midseason break and continued their winning ways against lowly NTK at Constantia on Saturday. The hosts romped home 57-14 after leading 33-0 at the break.


Visitors NTK are serious contenders for relegation, having won only one of their nine matches in the build up to this match. Title defenders False Bay by comparison have only lost one and drawn another of their seven matches prior to this fixture and judging on the Third XV 145-0 rout, depth at the Parow-based club was not in abundance.


Even though the result was never in question, it did pose different challenges for the teams. Champions False Bay have been consistently delivering the goods with slick and determined performances throughout their campaign to date and a slip against the Parow minnows would have been the death-knell to their league and Gold Cup hopes. By contrast the visitors savoured the opportunity to show their worth, their performance at times belied their lowly position on the table. It was number three verses number twelve on the table and one was sometimes given pause to ponder what had gone wrong with the visitors during their SLA2017 campaign, the quality of their rugby at times belied their record so far this season.


One-sided it may have been but the visitors never capitulated, scoring their two deserved goals in the second half. They focused on rugby, forgoing the standard containing game normally employed by teams expected to take a pounding. Their forwards never stood back for the more fancied False Bay pack and their backs showed a willingness to counter attack and spread the ball when given an opportunity.


The power of the Constantia team was undeniable though and they showed verve in running the ball as much as possible, points difference obviously a consideration when the perspiration of the contest had dried. The Bay forwards, will at times getting as good as they got from their visitors, were rampant on the day. With captain Graham “Snoopy” Knoop and his lock partner Brent “Slinky” Stevens working in tandem and young promising prop Simon Raw revelling in a rare start, the Bay forwards relentlessly put their guests to the test. Flanks Jody Reyneke and Taps Tsamondo were rampant on the day while eighthman Ryan Olivier executed his link-man role to perfection.


Behind this dominant pack scrum half Dyllan Frylinck revelled in the space at the same time delivering a crisp service to his backline. Flyhalf Meryck Ward was his understated self and wing Danie Roux clearly enjoying his return to the pitch. Full back Karl Martin was busy on attack.


For NTK centre Jacobus Visser and half backs Sigi Painczyk and Duaine Alting caught the eye. Up front lock Thifhidzi Tshivhase and eighthman Brandon Grant worked hard. Grant was rewarded with a try for his hard work, the other a penalty try for a high takle in the red zone, both of which were converted by wing Marco Marais.


False Bay showed their class throughout and if one had to be critical a few points were left on the pitch but that does not detract from a solid performance against opposition who came with nothing but pride to lose and left with that fully intact. 


Bay's nine tries were scorerd by Reineke (3), Roux, Martin, Carl Kohne, Riaan O'Neel, Olivier and Niyaas Johnson. Martin and Adnaan Osman converted four and two respectively. 


SLA2017 is certainly proving to be a contest of great intrigue. In other action on Saturday, unbeatenHamiltons suffered their first loss of the season to Tygerberg at Green Point. The visitors lost for the first time this season to False Bay four weeks back, quickly followed by another defeat to UCT at Groote Schuur a week later. They showed great character in reversing their recent fortunes against the high-flying Atlantic Seaboard outfit who are experiencing their best season in a number of years.


With clubs having played a disparate number of games, an accurate comparison is difficult but an extrapolation of the table puts the Bay and Hamiltons neck and neck with Tygerberg breathing down their necks. False Bay have the seemingly easier run into season’s end but as has been hitherto proved, no team is a pushover when they face the champions.


False Bay host Primrose at Constantia on Saturday. First games are at 1.30 pm and the main game kicks off at 4 pm.


- Jon Harris


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