The men from Constantia overturned a 0-22 deficit to beat Vics 31-22 and then withstood a constant onslaught from a determined Kloof outfit to scrape home 11-10 on their own pitch to retain their unbeaten record of six out of six.
It’s often said in the Super League A (SLA) that the best way to play student teams is through hard, physical forward play, the assumption being that the younger players wilt under the constant physical contact.
Half an hour gone and the Bay had hardly seen a blade of grass in Vics territory, 22 points behind after the students scored three unanswered tries, converted two of them as well as a penalty.
False Bay began to gain some composure through phase play and arresting the tendency to put themselves under pressure. Flyhalf Andri Claasen converted a penalty to reduce the points-difference to within the teens.
Once their forwards started getting back into the game, nippy scrumhalf Dylan Frylinck could take advantage with his sniping runs.
Eighthman Ryan Olivier, showing a welcome return to form, opened the Bay’s scoring when he opportunistically took a quick tap from a penalty and crashed over under the poles barely 10 minutes before the break.
The score was the hope the travelling support needed and the inspiration the Bay desperately needed and the teams changed at 22-10.
False Bay simply dominated the second half from beginning to end, their forwards now executing the play expected from them from the first whistle, marshalled by Frylinck and then the maestro Ridhaa Damon.
Bay struck back with a well-executed solo try by veteran centre Byron Mohr, who showed his opponents a clean pair of heels as he worked the 30 metres to the tryline.
The Bay took the lead about halfway through the second stanza through a penalty try which Claasen converted. A precarious two-point lead against a team renowned for playing rugby until after the final whistle was never going to be enough but the Bay were determined to keep their lines intact and instead attacked relentlessly.
They scored their fourth try for a bonus point just about on full-time, as centre Riaan O’Neill, who had an outstanding game , waltzed over for the score. Claasen did the necessary and an outstanding comeback from behind was over.
With their forthcoming opponents, SK Walmer watching in the stands, False Bay were under no illusions about their home fixture against the Schotsche Kloof club, who clearly believed that they could triumph on the day and had come to do their homework.
Again, the results of the Bay’s second and third teams both exceeded the half century (as against UWC) yet no one in attendance believed that trend would continue come the main contest.
Coach Johnno van der Walt, showing his faith in his full squad, confidently applied his rotation policy. SKW, big, strong and focused took to the pitch, a determined outfit with a sound game plan and everyone aware of his role.
What ensued was 80 minutes of gruelling rugby, the physicality not only limited to the forwards.
False Bay lead 8-0 at the break through an excellent try by Wesley Chetty and a penalty by Claasen. SKW however stunned the local support by taking the lead through a well-worked try. Flyhalf Yasir Davids converted this and later a penalty too.
Fullback Adnaan Osman, a former Kloof star, crowned an outstanding performance when he converted a penalty to give the Bay the winning lead with the final score in their favour, 11-10.
False Bay have a break this weekend before another tough encounter when they host Tygerberg at Constantia on Saturday May 21.
* Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC