Here’s hop­ing The Bay can re­alise their gold-plated dream in Rusten­burg

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE DE BRUYN

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.

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