In a high-quality, exciting encounter at Constantia on Saturday, UCT staged a second-half comeback which rocked False Bay. The final score was 24-23 after the hosts led 22-3 at the break.
Playing for league points while honouring a former member of both clubs of the 80s, Mark Jordaan, this was truly a match of two halves.
The first half belonged almost entirely to False Bay as they swamped their opponents, trumping them in most departments.
The second the property of UCT as they shut the hosts out and kept their line intact.
False Bay flyhalf Ewan Adams opened the scoring for his team to give them a three-point lead which was negated soon afterwards with one by Ikeys full back, Darian Hock.
The Bay, exerting pressure on their opponents, pinned them in their own half, a squeeze which paid dividends when Adams charged down a clearance kick, collected and dived over for the score, goaling the conversion to give his team a seven-point lead.
The Ikeys, stunned, attempted a recovery from this pressure-induced score.
Their scrum was dominant which delivered a solid platform from which to launch attacks but False Bay were focussed and continued to play the game in the faces of their opponents.
False Bay kept the pressure on their opponents, enjoying territorial dominance which converted to points from three well-executed tries.
Adding to that of Adams, wing Mustaqeem Jappie added a brace with fullback Adnaan Osman converting Jappie’s second try and the scoreboard remained unchanged as the UCT defence stemmed the flood of Bay attacks for the rest of the opening stanza.
It was a breathless first half, physical and uncompromising. False Bay, wisened and knarled old men in comparison to their younger opponents may have been expected to bully them around the park, but that did not materialise.
Instead, a tough and brutal showdown between two well-drilled packs with the backlights of fast, enterprising back play was the hallmark of the first half and proved to be so for the entire contest.
The home support was, after a half which quite honestly saw their team overshadow their opponents, confident of a victory.
In the second half, UCT employed a faultless and effective strategy of forward drives off a lineout now featuring even taller timber than that of their first half player mix.
First up to score for the Ikeys was loosehead prop Ashwyn Adams off the back of the rolling maul. Hock converted.
Replacement flank Nama Xaba then crashed over for a try, converted by Hock, to bring the visitors to within five points of the Bay.
False Bay hung onto their slender five-point lead, which was negated when left wing Athi Gaza scored to level the scores.
Hock converted to give UCT the win.
False Bay remain top of the SLA table by virtue of points difference, with Durbell alongside them and UCT lying a close third.
The Bay travel to Stellenbosch to face Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium this Saturday and will be keen to recover from a loss that could so easily have been a thrilling victory. The match kicks off at 4pm.
Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.