BAY OVERCOME UWC
Photos: Gavin Withers Photgraphy
DirectAxis False Bay RFC again showed their class when they overcame a very competitive University of Western Cape team in the SLA match played at Constantia on Freedom Day. The final score was 31-10 after the Bay lead 14-7 at the break.
The Bay playing in the second of their three consecutive matches against student teams, having despatched of UCT a few days earlier and with Victorians next on the agenda, withstood the anticipated onslaught of the visitors and soon settled into their game. UWC or Udubz as they are affectionately known, coached by Springbok legend Chester Williams had done their homework on the hosts and surprised throughout the contest with their strong scrummaging and solid defence. Indeed the UWC front row shadowed their more fancied opponents in the set pieces, delivering a solid platform for attack and at the same time disrupting the Bay’s set pieces off this base.
The heavy losses inflicted upon the visiting second and third teams was a misleading scene-setter as the False Bay teams in the curtain-raisers whitewashed their opponents, posting half centuries in both contests. The uninitiated amongst the sizeable crowd would have been forgiven for thinking another one-sided win was expected, but the regulars knew all too well that this is no indicator. The visitors came prepared and ready for a contest. In all honesty DirectAxis False Bay did win comfortably but given the right situation the contest could have been a lot closer.
The aforementioned situation may well have arisen through a rookie referee on SLA debut and a fading of the off-side line and the monitoring of that den of iniquity, the ruck and maul which stymied the dangerous the False Bay play as the visitors slowed play down noticeably.
That aside, Udubz came to play rugby and they certainly played a lot of that, kept in check by outstanding Bay defence. It was however the home side who opened the scoring when prop Ashley Wells crashed over at the end of a twenty metre driving maul, which flyhalf Andri Claasen converted. The score was soon nullified when UWC centre Yomdela Stompu crashed over for his team’s only try, in turn converted by fullback Darren Hock. Stompu had broken through Bay defences metres from the line and hit the protective padding on the uprights with a deafening thud, which resulted in a prolonged injury break and his departure from the contest on a stretcher. Fortunately his injuries were not serious and he was seen walking around later.
DirectAxis False Bay struck back, their forwards taking the game to their opponents who were valiantly lead by lock and captain Sebelo Dlamini. The Bay in turn were not standing back, eighthman Andrew Whittaker having a mountain of a game with ball in hand, gaining running metres at will. He picked up at the base of a set scrum and crashed over to give the home side their half time lead.
After the break False Bay seemed to settle. With three tough games in ten days, coach Johnno van der Walt had used the squad rotation system and had a bench loaded with big guns on which to call. His starting line up performed admirably and certainly gave him the confidence he required in his squad against a team which will be no pushover in the league this season and which will definitely improve as the season progresses. Expect to see UWC in the Top Eight of this year’s SLA.
Nevertheless, the Bay scored three unanswered second half tries to earn the bonus point. First centre Wesley Hamilton scored at the end of a try started in their own half. Later replacement prop Khona Dabula crashed over in the corner and wing Mustaqeem Jappie scored another exciting, long range try. Claasen converted the last of the three.
Udubz props Glenn Steenberg and Tahriq Allen surprised their more accomplished opponents although the former did sit out for ten minutes for foul play. Scrumhalf Clayton Daniels was an unobtrusive force, quietly going about his game with slick service and sound decision making. Eighthman Matthew Faught was always involved in attack and defence and Dlamini an inspiration to his troops with his physical play.
For the Bay Whittaker threw his body on the line with such force that he is probably still feeling the ravages of his play, while hooker Vlam van Vuuren was uncompromising when introduced, igniting passion when it needed. Wing Justin Fielies again caught the eye with his all round play, fighting above his weight on defence and elusive on attack. Lock Simon Askew carried the ball powerfully, doing the hard yards in the tight-loose. Zimbabwe Sevens international, Riaan O’Neill was busy on attack and solid on defence.
The Bay lie second to Hamiltons on the SLA after four matches, separated only by points difference of thirteen points in favour of the Sea Point club.
DirectAxis False Bay travelled to Stellenbosch last night to face Victorians in their third match against university teams in ten days. They host high-flying SK Walmers at Constantia on Saturday. First games kick off at 1.30pm and the main contest is at 4pm.