BAY’S BIG CHALLENGE
Direct Axis False Bay RFC overcame a gallant home side when they easily beat St Georges at Gustrouw Park on Saturday. The final score was 47-19 after the Bay led 26-7 at the break.
The Bay play three matches in seven days this week and coach Johnno van der Walt rested a number of his players in an effort to extend their capacity as they face two tough encounters in four days. They would have played the ever-challenging UWC at the Bellville Campus last night and then host Victorians at Constantia on Saturday.
St George’s RFC, False Bay’s opponents of last week are propping up the SLA, a position which perhaps belies this passionate club’s commitment to the game and worth on the pitch. Yes, judging the results of the three matches played in the build up to the main game, depth does appear to be the true challenge they face as each team lost heavily.
Indeed it was St Georges who opened the scoresheet with a well-taken try by centre Lester Riffel. DirectAxis False Bay appeared a little disorganised in the beginning, perhaps the eight changes to their squad contributing to a lack of rhythm. Their scrum overpowered that of the hosts and their lineout ran smoothly, with hooker Dasch Barber’s pinpoint throws a major factor. Barber shone throughout the contest, revelling in the opportunity to display his talents in the absence of the two first choice hookers.
Fitness was always going to be a factor in the match, the hosts shortage thereof and the superiority of the visitors’s conditioning and once the Constantia outfit weathered the quiet storm of the hosts they took control of the contest, running in seven tries on the way to a valuable five-league-point victory.
St George’s deserve credit for what they have done with limited resources at Gustrouw Park in Strand and it is somewhat saddening that they are staring relegation deeply in the face. The spirit and tenacity with which they play the game is a credit to their club and their refusal to give up when the expected Bay onslaught occurred is testimony to their character. With the game all but completely shut out at 47-7, these gallant warriors upped their effort finding the energy to score the final two tries of the match and bring a fair reflection to their scoreline.
This was a match between two teams on either end of the SLA table, and it would be unfair to take anything away from the Bay’s efforts and class, but a game is made up of two teams and St Georges did not disappoint their supporters. Referees dedicate a lot of their personal time to adjudicate matches and no match can take place without them, but often their over-officiating can have a negative effect on proceedings and the match official appeared too willing to interrupt proceedings with his shrill whistle, something which served neither team well.
St Georges tries came courtesy of Riffel, Michael Meyer and Marvell Steenkamp. Godwin Simon converted two.
DirectAxis false Bay’s tries were scored by Danie Roux (2), Mustaquim Jappie (2), Andrew Whittaker, Mike Poppmeier and Adnaan Osman who converted six.
The Super League A has reached the business end with some interesting developments over the last two weeks. Runaway logleaders Hamiltons suddenly suffered two losses in their last three outings since despatching False Bay a fortnight ago. Habitual league champions Stellenbosch University are executing their usual late run for honours having lost only one match so far this season. They have three relatively easy matches to complete and should by all expectations end on 60 league points, one ahead of Hamiltons if the Sea Point team bags a full five.
If UCT earn full league points out of their three remaining fixtures, they will end one ahead of the Maties but their run into the close is a little tougher, a daunting visit to Sir Lowrians amongst these. False Bay can end on 62 points if they bank full points in their remaining four matches but these are four very tough encounters. They travelled to UWC last night, host Victorians on Saturday, then travel to the redhot cauldron of Sir Lowrians and finally host UCT in September.
Saturday’s contest at Constantia is going to be every bit as exciting as the Maties clash earlier in the season. Vics will be keen on a reversal of the loss suffered by their senior team and with struggling Villager being the opponents of the Maroon Machine, there will be an abundance of talent from which to choose a truly competitive team to face False Bay at Fortress Constantia.
Kick off is at 4pm with earlier games starting at 1.30pm. All lovers of club rugby and supporters of False Bay are invited to witness this keen contest.