Na­tional ti­tle for False Bay

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING - MIKE DE BRUYN

FALSE BAY beat Col­lege Rovers 30-18 (half­time 20-10) in the Gold Cup fi­nal in Con­stan­tia yes­ter­day to claim their maiden na­tional club ti­tle.

The well-earned vic­tory in front of 4 500 spec­ta­tors made up for last year’s loss in the fi­nal to Rusten­burg Im­pala.

Rovers, the KZN cham­pi­ons, put on a brave per­for­mance on a hot, wind­less af­ter­noon. The Bay were un­der the cosh early on which cost them three points, but they owned the park for much of the half and cashed in with three tries.

The first was dot­ted down by left wing Danie Roux, the sec­ond by right wing Mar­cello Samp­son, which full­back Ad­naan Os­man con­verted, be­fore one went the way of star flanker Taps Ts­mondo, giv­ing the home side a com­fort­able 17-3 lead.

Rovers fly­half Chris Jor­daan made a break and de­posited the ball un­der the posts, then added the extras to nar­row the deficit to 10 points go­ing into half-time.

The sec­ond half was a bat­tle be­tween the 22s with both packs putting in big hits and not will­ing to give an inch.

Bay can­celled out Rovers’ penalty goal be­fore Roux cre­ated and rounded off Bay’s fourth try, the suc­cess­ful con­ver­sion mak­ing it 30-13.

Rovers had to wait un­til the fi­nal minute for their next points, an un­con­verted try by sub­sti­tute Grant Rat­tray.

THE FOR­WARDS

Loose-for­wards

It’s the one de­part­ment where the Boks have sim­ply not been able to set­tle this year. The only con­stant has been Siya Kolisi, and how well he has played.

And again, there are ques­tions around the back-row. Frans Louw played at eight last time out, against the All Blacks, but that is un­likely to hap­pen again – he was anony­mous at New­lands.

The good news is Uzair Cassiem is fit again and should slot in at the back of the scrum, while Dan du Preez, a gen­uine spe­cial­ist, is also an op­tion. Louw and Kolisi should re­turn to the flanks, but af­ter the suc­cess of play­ing Pi­eter-Steph du Toit at seven at New­lands, he could again be in the start­ing team. Out­siders for a call-up in­clude Nizaam Carr, Sikhum­buzo Not­she and Oupa Mo­hoje.

Locks

Play­ing Pi­eter-Steph du Toit at flank eases the dilemma of who to pick in the sec­ond row, and if we go just on the Boks’ last out­ing, Eben Etze­beth and Lood de Jager have the in­side lane for the lock­ing po­si­tions.

This is mainly due to the fact they’re big­ger and heav­ier than Franco Mostert and may suit Europe bet­ter. How­ever, Mostert never tires and he brings mo­bil­ity and a high work rate to the team.

The good thing is the Boks are well stocked at lock and all four cur­rent squad mem­bers are class play­ers, with their own unique skills sets. The Sharks’ Ruan Botha may be a sur­prise se­lec­tion, es­pe­cially if the Bok camp are wor­ried about the an­kle in­jury suf­fered by Etze­beth last week. Props

Oh, what Coet­zee and his coach­ing staff would do for a fit and fir­ing tight­head prop!

The in­juries suf­fered by Ju­lian Redel­inghuys and Frans Mal­herbe have hit the Boks hard, but thank­fully Coe­nie Oosthuizen ap­pears to be ready to play on tour, and how cru­cial hasn’t he be­come, fi­nally im­press­ing as a No 3.

Ruan Dreyer, who has deputised at tight­head has, quite in­ex­pli­ca­bly when you con­sider how well he’s done for the Lions in Su­per Rugby, bombed at Test level. His place in the squad is in se­ri­ous doubt and may be taken by an ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tor like Ross Gelden­huys of the Sharks, who’s been around the block a few times. Of course, Wilco Louw will be the favourite to pack down at tight­head in the first Test. Beast Mtawarira and Steven Kit­shoff will get their turns at loose-head, with Trevor Nyakane again likely to be their back-up.

Hooker

Well, is there any­one bet­ter than Mal­colm Marx to wear the No 2 on his back in Europe next month?

The Lions man has proved him­self a cut above the rest and will be a key fig­ure on tour. He was out­stand­ing last time out but will face a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge in the four Tests, which will be played on heav­ier fields than he is used to.

Bongi Mbonambi and Chili­boy Rale­pelle will play back-up again and one can only hope they get de­cent game-time some­where on tour. The only other hooker push­ing for a look-in is Franco Marais, but there’s no rea­son to pick him if all he’s go­ing to do is carry tackle bags for four weeks.

THE BACKS

Full­back

An­dries Coet­zee re­mains one of the safest se­lec­tions Al­lis­ter Coet­zee has in his team and he can never be faulted for be­ing con­sis­tent in play­ing him in ev­ery Test so far this year.

But safe doesn’t cut it in Test rugby and a lit­tle bit of some­thing ex­tra is what the Boks need to be able to dis­sect teams from the back. War­rick Ge­lant is that player that pos­sesses that X-fac­tor and he has been in red hot form for the Bulls in the Cur­rie Cup. Ge­lant is beyond safe, he is the Boks hope of scor­ing tries and win­ning matches.

Wings

Court­nall Skosan and Dil­lyn Leyds have hardly done any­thing wrong. Skosan has played in ev­ery Test since mak­ing his de­but against France in June and has only started show­ing what a threat he is with ball in hand to­wards the end of the Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

Leyds has only had two starts af­ter re­plac­ing Ray­mond Rhule and has had no op­por­tu­ni­ties to show the im­mense tal­ent he pos­sesses. A bit of size would cer­tainly help on the wings with Maka­zole Mapimpi, Travis Is­maiel and Sbu Nkosi knock­ing hard on the door. Pity that Nkosi is in­jured, but Mapimpi and Is­maiel should be given a chance.

Cen­tres

This is an area where the Boks stocks need to be fat­tened and with Jan Ser­fontein and Jesse Kriel not as con­vinc­ing, Al­lis­ter Coet­zee has the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to throw in a few top per­form­ers.

Ser­fontein has shown glimpses of what made him the best ju­nior player in the world a few years ago while Kriel is strug­gling with re­gain­ing the form that booked him his ticket to the Rugby World Cup two years ago.

The time is ripe for Lukhanyo Am, Ro­han Janse van Rens­burg, Fran­cois Ven­ter and even EW Viljoen to get a fair crack at the mid­field berths.

Fly­half

El­ton Jan­tjies has held his own in the num­ber 10 jumper but has strug­gled to repli­cate the scin­til­lat­ing form he showed for the Lions.

It could just be a con­ser­va­tive game-plan that pre­vents him from play­ing his nat­u­ral run­ning game or try­ing too much to prove his de­trac­tors wrong.

But Jan­tjies doesn’t look in con­trol and as as­sured in the Green and Gold as he does for the Lions. Han­dre Pollard is ea­gerly await­ing his chance to re­gain a jersey that be­longed to him be­fore a string of in­juries struck. Won­derkids Cur­win Bosch and Damian Willemse have proven that they are ready for the big time.

Scrumhalf

Again an­other po­si­tion where Ross Conje is a safe se­lec­tion and the best of what have been or­di­nary performances from the coun­try’s num­ber nines.

In the ab­sence of a ge­nius a la Fourie du Preez, and Fran­cois Hougaard hav­ing lost his mojo, the Boks have had to set­tle with the safety of Cronje and Rudy Paige, who is clearly low on con­fi­dence. Op­por­tu­nity should be given to Louis Schreuder who has been con­sis­tent in his performances for the Kings and Sharks this year.

Tak­ing the likes of Ju­nior Spring­bok scrumhalf Am­brose Pa­pier on tour won’t be a bad idea as he could be the long term so­lu­tion to the or­di­nary.

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