BAY TROUNCE PRIMROSE
DirectAxis False Bay RFC recovered from their loss to Hamiltons in an emphatic manner when they beat Southern Suburbs rivals, Primrose RFC at Constantia on Saturday. The final score was 60-8 after the home side led 17-5 at the break.
It was the Kenilworth-based team’s first match in 6 weeks and their fitness, or lack thereof, counted against them as the match progressed. This definitely formed a part of their pre-match discussion and the visitors knew that if they allowed their opponents to spread the ball, they would have easily conceded a three-figure score, as indeed the Primrose Third XV did in the first match of the day.
The teams sparred for the opening stages, taking a while to settle into a rhythm, but it was the Bay who opened the scoring through a rolling maul after a penalty. This had come about after a sixty metre dash which saw the entertaining wing Danie Roux round a number of opponents to be stopped just short of the line. Moments later, livewire scrumhalf Darren Rix exploited a gap and dashed for the line, still fifty metres away. He too was hauled in desperately close but flank Andrew Whittaker scored from the ensuing ruck. Flyhalf Andri Claasen converted.
Primrose, still brimming with confidence fought back, their three-quarter line willing to let the ball do the work and they struck back through a well-taken try by right wing Dean Swart. Primrose had turned the ball over from a Bay scrum, scrumhalf Jason Jantjies pouncing on the wayward pass and the visitors scored at the end of a 40 metre counter attack.
The Bay were stung somewhat, all too aware that their visitors would keep on coming back until they had put the game out of reach. The Roses were cleverly slowing the ball down with play that is oft times difficult to monitor, be it side entry into the ruck or holding onto the ball. Referee Matt Kemp managed these areas well but it cannot be expected that his whistle be the focus of the game and the visitors succeeded at preventing the Constantia team from settling into their rhythmic style.
Roux then scored one of his typical tries, the kind where he is faced with numerous defenders but somehow through tremendous upperbody strength, guile and determination, he rounds or goes over opponents on his way to the line. It is a style which enthralls the crowd to the core. Claasen converted for the Bay’s final first half points.
Coach Johnno van der Walt had used the match to give some players well-deserved starts. Scrumhalf Darren Rix enjoyed the opportunity, keeping the defences around the scrums and rucks honest. Centre Martin Sauls enjoyed the space and ran with balance, often stretching defences. Within the first ten minutes of the second stanza, van der Walt introduced a number of his reserves. Each made an impact, improving on the high levels of performance of the player departing.
Some revelled in being on the pitch. Brent Stevens was simply outstanding. Having to stand down from the match against Hamiltons, Stevens was sublime. He broke the line at will and delivered his trademark bone-crunching tackles. Another who grabbed the opportunity to shine at this level was lock Pallo Manuel. The giant second-rower demonstrated his ability which has been on show in the main curtain-raiser as he patiently awaited his opportunity as a result of the depth the Bay have in this position.
DirectAxis False Bay certainly increased their intensity from the first whistle of the second half and the Roses began to wilt faster than a flower on a hot Karoo afternoon. The Bay were now launching attack after attack at the Primrose defences, liberally throwing the ball around in a demonstration of quality running rugby. The visitors were becoming frustrated, their legs by now feeling the pace of the game and a rampant Bay were ruthless in defence and attack.
Maestro Ridhaa Damon was all over the pitch after his introduction at the break, combining smoothly with Adnaan Osman who had moved into flyhalf after starting at fullback. False Bay scored seven second half tries as they ran their opponents ragged, Osman converting four of these.
Other standout players for DirectAxis False Bay RFC were lock Graham Knoop, wing Mustaquim Jappie, prop Gerhard Lotter and eighthman Ryan Olivier.
Primrose RFC competed well for the better part of the match and players who caught the eye were fullback Xolela Payi, centres Deroy Rhoode and Mogammed Osman and halfbacks Jantjies and Henry Wolhuter.
False Bay’s tries were scored by Roux, Jappie, Sauls, Olivier, Whittaker, Knoop, Stevens, Damon, Wesley Hamilton and Justin Filies. Osman converted four and Claasen two. Primrose’s points came from a try by Swart and a penalty by Wolhuter.
DirectAxis False Bay RFC have five matches left to play in SLA2015, three of them in a seven-period starting on Saturday when they travel to Strand to face St George’s. They then play UWC on Wednesday and host Victorians at Constantia next Saturday.
Photos: Courtesy of Gavin Withers