Cape Town - False Bay buried the ghosts of
2016 as they surged to their maiden Gold Cup triumph in front of a record home
crowd at the Phillip Herbstein Field in Cape Town on Saturday.
‘The Bay’, runners-up to Rustenburg
Impala last year, withstood a late onslaught from KwaZulu-Natal champions College
Rovers to win 30-18 and so claim the biggest prize in non-university club rugby.
The match was also personal triumph for
30-year-old False Bay skipper Graham Knoop, who not only won the man of the match award, but also the title of South African Club Player of the Year, having
led the team to a near-perfect season during which the Constantia-based club
lost just one match, in the domestic Western Province Super League.
False Bay’s win was also
testament to their 35-year-old head coach Jonno van der Walt, who was named SA
Club Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Under Van der Walt’s watch, False Bay
have lost just three of 48 matches over the past two seasons. The team is now
unbeaten at home for three years.
“This was without doubt the biggest day in
our 88-year history,” said False Bay chairperson Kevin Lennett.
“We had over 5 000 people come through the
gates, which was the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen here, and I think it’s fair
to say the people were treated to an afternoon that will be spoken of for
decades to come.”
Roux (2), Marcello Sampson, Tapiwa Tsomondo
Conversions: Adnaan Osman
Penalties: Osman, Meryck Ward
Jordaan, Grant Rattray
Conversion: Gavin Scott
Penalties: Scott (2)