Bay take on Victorians at home

False Bay RFCs Niyaaz Johnson will be expected to play a huge role for his side during their first match of 2019 in front of their home crowd.

pictures: withers and son photography

The Bay have won both of their opening matches against SK Walmer and Primrose, played at The Track and in Kenilworth respectively.

They bagged a full haul of points in tough encounters, belied by the comfortable margins which the Constantia team registered come the sounding of the final whistle in each of the contests.

Indeed, the Bay head the SLA table at the end of round two, a frivolous achievement considering the early stage of the season.

In fact, four teams are on equal log points, but coach Johnno van der Walt’s team occupy pole position by virtue of a healthier points difference.

UCT, Uni-Mil and Tygerberg make up the quartet at the head of the table.

Equally frivolous is the position Varsity Cup Champions Maties hold.

Their thirteenth position on the table is guaranteed to change radically as they amass league points to add to the zero they currently have, that tally a result of them having not opened their Super League A season at the time of going to press.

Maties faced Vics at the Danie Craven Stadium last night, a clash which is expected to go the way of big brother, but one which may be to the benefit of False Bay.

Two tough encounters within four days would test the fitness of most outfits, add a Varsity Cup Final last week and the students would have played quite a bit of rugby recently.

Going straight into the SLA would test the motivation of most, post-Varsity-Cup-blues a challenge as the players deal with the change in style, pace and physicality.

Physicality was the hallmark of Vics head coach Louis Blom’s game as a WP stalwart and he demands the same of his forwards especially.

Thabo Ngcongo and his Bay warriors can expect that much at least from their opponents on Saturday.

Not that the Bay shy away from this aspect of the game, their forwards being the foundation on which they have built their performances this season.

Indeed, performing well as a team comes with its challenges and higher honours threaten to rob the Bay of some of their players as Zimbabwe and Western Province begin their SuperSport Challenge.

There is depth at the club and Coach Van der Walt is not allowing this particular sideshow to interfere with preparations.

Victorians are students who thrive on running the ball from all four corners of the pitch, something the hosts enjoy themselves, promising an entertaining encounter in Constantia.

Depth at the Bay is healthy and with this season seeing the return of the Reserve League, there is plenty of action at the club.

Last season’s abbreviated format seems to have had an adverse effect on the club game, as player numbers have dwindled, yet the Constantia club are blessed in being able to field three teams in the Reserve League, adding an enjoyable feature to the weekly itinerary which sees matches taking place on Friday nights, attended by healthy numbers of spectators lapping up the energy of the occasion.

Player contentment is managed by club captain Jonny Sweetnam and Greg Armstrong.

“The game against the students is always tough but our preseason work has been geared towards challenging for the title”, says Sweetnam.

“That aside, the excitement is at an all-time high with a full fixture list back up and running for all teams.”

There will be no Third League fixture on Saturday which allows the False Bay under-21 team the opportunity to kick off match-day proceedings on the main field.

The team has delivered some outstanding performances this season already and will be looking to redress a last-minute loss to Primrose in their last outing a fortnight ago.

The might of Stellenbosch University in this league is inescapable and the Bay young guns have delivered some credible performances in recent years. It is an encounter almost certain to enthrall.

This match starts at 1.30pm with the main encounter kicking off at 4pm.

Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.