pictures: withers and son photography
The Young Bucks lost 14-36 after trailing by 19 points to nil at the break.
With the Young Bucks taking up temporary residence in Constantia, the avid rugby fan now has a second option to support when the Bay are on a bye or away, and while their “step-team” is in Mossel Bay this weekend, they can turn out in full support for False Bay’s first home game of the season, against Paarl.
On Saturday, Young Bucks coach Brendon Dawson and his entire group demonstrated to grow.
There was a vast improvement in all departments against a talented Sharks Academy team which included Springbok wing Lwazi Mvovo.
In their opening encounter against Border Bulldogs the week before, the Young Bucks faded in the second half and allowed the game to be taken away from them as they delivered a performance they wish to remember purely as inspiration to improve.
The fact that they scored two goals in the second stanza against the Sharks Academy is testimony to the focus and determination of the squad.
After a disappointing second half performance which led to a 41-16 defeat to Border Bulldogs in East London last week, the Young Bucks, as the Zimbabwe development side is affectionately known, were desperate to put on a much better display.
Team manager Jason Maritz spoke highly of his team and felt that the score was not perhaps a true reflection of the match.
“We may have lost with some daylight in the scoreline but that’s the best game of rugby I have watched in a while. The boys did a sterling job and it was such a good game,” said Maritz.
The Zimbabweans are here to learn and there are encouraging signs that they are committed to that task.
False Bay lock Jan Ferreira captains the team, with Bay centre Riaan O’Neil as vice-captain. “It’s an amazing thing representing your country. Even more so when the odds seem stacked against you,” said Ferreira.
“The brothers I shared the field with are starting to believe and we want to show the rugby world and our people that we did not come to make up numbers. Things went wrong from time to time, but we adjusted and rectified those shortcomings.”
The passionate skipper added that says that while his team might not be the most technically adept, they made up their shortcomings with passion and determination.
With the withdrawal of Stellenbosch University’s Victorians from the Super League A, on the eve of their encounter against the Bay, the Constantia outfit now find themselves coming off a month-long break to face the fiery and passion newcomers, Paarl, who although without a win out of their three matches, have impressed in the top flight of WP Club Rugby.
“We were ready for Vics so the guys are very hungry and keen to play some rugby,” said False Bay coach Johnno van der Walt.
“This will be our first home game of the 2019 season, which adds to the excitement.”
UCT have started their season strongly, unbeaten in their opening four matches to date and are set to be the pace-setters along with Uni-Mil and Tygerberg.
False Bay, Maties, UWC and Durbanville have all started their season well and the SLA promises to be an interesting league this season.
Like last season, the top six teams at the end of the round robin phase qualify for the knockout stage to determine SLA Champions 2019.
Essentially a team can splutter along throughout the season and provided they qualify for the knockout stages, they could lift the champion’s trophy at the end of the season.
Van der Walt is not getting ahead of the situation. Like over the last number of seasons, his team is taking one match at a time, determined to improve as they progress.
“We can only worry about ourselves and our own preparations leading up to the Paarl fixture,” he said.
“We are looking to build on our opening performances,” said Van der Walt.
“We have a few players on provincial duty and a few returning from injury, so there is great excitement for Saturday’s fixture.”
First games kick off at Constantia at 1.30 and the main game starts at 4pm.
Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.