Here’s hoping The Bay can realise their gold-plated dream in Rustenburg
FALSE BAY Rugby Club are one game from being crowned national champions. The men from Constantia face unbeaten Rustenburg Impala in the Gold Cup final at Impala Rugby Club today (3.30pm kickoff).
They will hope to repeat Durbell’s success last year when they beat holders Rustenburg for the trophy.
The Bay’s brilliant form in the Super League A this season saw them go unbeaten and win the title they last won in 1972, when the late Butch Watson- Smith captained the side who won the Grand Challenge.
There are no individual stars to call on in squad parlance; just guys who play the game for the love of it. They now face arguably their biggest game in their history.
Unbeaten Rustenburg have home-ground advantage and their supporters are as hardcore as they come; Durbell experienced that, yet still defied the odds to record a famous 31-30 victory.
The Bay’s hard- working pack stand back for no one and their backline can turn it on, as highlighted in last Sunday’s 41-35 semi-final win over Durbell. Rustenburg advanced to their third successive final after edging gutsy Brakpan 44-32.
It was a nine- try thriller at Durbell and the winners scored five. The hosts trailed throughout but came back with a vengeance in the second half and came within touching distance. But one too many errors and lapses in concentration came back to bite them in their only defeat in the competition.
The Bay lost to Pool C winners Brakpan in round two of the early stages. That 26- 19 defeat was taken on the chin.
“It was a tough game away from home and we played below potential. We got back to winning ways… and we are now through to the final and the boys are looking forward to the experience awaiting them,” said Bay coach Johnno van der Walt.
“The fact that we’re away from home again is nothing to fret over; we beat Pretoria Police in the last eight and then local rivals Durbell, showing that we can do the business away from the comforts of home.
“But it is going to be a tough affair and we’ve done our homework and now let’s see what happens.”
The Bay’s most experienced campaigner is hard-working flank Justin van Winkel. He’s been there for over a decade and made over 200 first-team appearances. He will be one of the key players and is never shy to get stuck in and win ball, even it means spilling a bit of blood for the cause.
Captain Graham Knoop is set to make his 96th appearance and his words of motivation to his pack members will rev them up to the hilt.
Groom- to- be Wes Chetty will be missed in the front row but watch out for 20-year-old lock Brandon Wood. He is a fierce competitor and is being touted as a future franchise player.
As for the backline, scrumhalf Ridhaa Damon is a lively threat and a master at working the ruck and maul fringes. He also has the pace to open up defences.
Inside centre Riaan O’Neill and left wing Mustaqeem Jappie have scored six tries in the competition while right wing Danie Roux has dotted down seven times, placing him jointsecond on the list of try-scorers headed by Tythan Adams of College Rovers (10).
Flyhalf Andri Claasen has chalked up 73 points as the goal- kicker. He’s not afraid to take the ball flat and create space for his outside backs.
Here’s hoping that the Bay can realise a dream that started in 2004 when they relegated from the SLA. False Bay: Adnaan Osman, Danie Roux, Byron Mohr, Riaan O’Neill, Mustaqeem Jappie, Andri Claassen, Ridhaa Damon, Ryan Olivier, Aiden Monk, Justin van Winkel, Graham Knoop (capt), Brandon Wood, Ashley Wells, Andre van Vuuren, Wesley Futter. Bench: Dasch Barber, Royal Mwali, Willie Coetzee, Curtley Johnson, Dylon Frylinck, Jason Pretorius, Roemark Smith.
SUPER ADVICE: Robbie Fleck engages with False Bay players ahead of their cup final today.