False Bay tightened their grip and mastered the conditions to run out easy winners in their match against Kuils River at Constantia on Saturday.
The Bay scored seven tries to the two of their opponents in their 47-13 victory.
The match promised to be a spectacle, with newly promoted Kuils River determined to cause an upset at Fortress False Bay… until a tempest hit Constantia an hour before kick-off, leaving the fields waterlogged and the pitch unfirm. Wet weather is all too often a great leveller, which would have further motivated the visitors, as if that was at all necessary. Their hosts, with a number of players returning, were all too aware of this, but had their own motivation for victory. One, for instance, is their hitherto unbeaten record.
The Bay had taken honours in all matches on the day, including their dynamite Second XV cementing their top of the log position while retaining their unbeaten record. Defeat in the main game would have surely dampened spirits and taken the shine off the day.
It took two minutes for the hosts to open their account, a try by centre Darren Jaftha, which was goaled by flyhalf Ewan Adams. Minutes later, burly prop Tahriq Allen crashed over and Adams made it fourteen. False Bay continued to play their attacking game, extending their lead through a try by lock Ettienne Oosthuizen, goal by Adams. The bay were up by three goals to nothing and the visitors were stunned but by no means down.
They struck back with a try by wing Lincoln Eksteen, which could not be converted in the conditions. In fact, “Kuila” as they are affectionately known, were by no means also-rans in the contest. They played enterprising rugby, their forwards producing quality ball for their backline to attempt breaching the Bay’s solid defence.
Up front, lock Carlo van Greunen was at the centre of his pack, be it as a source of line-out possession or gaining valuable ground with ball in hand. His second row partner, burly Wade Schoor, kept the pistons of the engine room firing with the hard work, and eighthman Amil van Heerden also caught the eye.
False Bay changed ends with a 28-5 lead and with the pitch drainage working overtime, the second half promised full entertainment value.
Kuila were playing their game, an expansive one off the base of a solid pack of forwards. To their great frustration, their attempts to breach Bay lines were met with resolute defence and, as their post-match analysis may show, they displayed a lack of confidence on attack. A fine outfit still building momentum and an understanding of each other.
That observation is neither critical nor meant to deflect the performance of False Bay. They were wily, street-smart, exciting, and methodical in their execution. Their front row placed Kuila under pressure at scrum time; their locks secured quality line-out possession with Oosthuizen and partner Busanda Mabena pilfering some of their opponents’ valuable possession.
Later on, the forward’s replacements upped the ante when allowed entry onto the pitch, young Issie Wharton being rewarded for his busy performance in the engine room. Captain Thabo Ncongo, returning from injury, was hungry.
The Bay’s backline was sharp and enterprising in the wet. Although not featuring as prolifically on the scoresheet this season, wing Danie Roux was the epitome of a hungry wing with a determination to get involved, popping up all over, contributing a number of scores. The man-of-the-match, if awarded, surely belonged to one man only, pivot Adams, who is playing outstanding rugby. He is elusive on attack, determined on defence and assured in his management of the game.
After six matches, False Bay occupied second spot on the SLA table, one point ahead of Maties, who have already played eight. Top of the table is UCT, who have a full bag of points from their eight matches to date.
The Bay have a bye this weekend and then travel to Brackenfell, who are a very capable unit, especially on their narrow home turf.
False Bay Third Team have been invited to play against long-time friends Hamediehs at Athlone this Saturday.
• Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.