Rangers RFC’s first team wrapped up a highly productive season in style, winning this years Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Super League C title and the President’s Cup knockout competition.
In the President’s Cup, where the top six sides in the league played each other on a knockout basis, the Surrey Estate side beat Paarl 24-23 in the final at Newlands, at the weekend.
They booked their spot in the final after beating Langa 22-10 in the semis, a week earlier.
The Rangers side have been equally convincing throughout the league season and their record of 12 wins and only two losses in 14 matches is a true reflection of their superior performance this season.
Having collected 59 points in the process, their closest rivals were second-placed Paarl, who collected 56 points from their 14 matches. Franschhoek United, who finished in third position, were a little far away from challenging for the title as they collected 51 points, eight behind the champions.
The Surrey Estate outfit made their intentions clear early on in the season, beating every team on their way in their first seven matches of the season.
Rangers had an ideal start to the campaign beating Elsies River United 37-5 at home in their league opener, back in April.
They went on to beat Strand United 18-11 in a tightly contested match away a week later.
They were even more ruthless in their next match against Blue Jet, beating the Khayelitsha side 36-10 to send out a clear message to the rest of their opponents.
At this point it was clear that the players’ confidence levels were high as they seemed to have even more belief in their abilities.
And, as if that was not enough, the Rangers side went on to win their next four matches to stretch their winning streak to seven matches.
Lagunya were their next victims as Rangers outplayed them in all departments to record a 29-8 win.
They went on to beat Hamediehs 42-13 in their next match before overcoming Langa and Silverleaf 16-10 and 35-3, respectively.
They were, however, stopped in their tracks by a stubborn Scottsdene United side who beat them 28-21, bringing their seven-match winning streak to an abrupt end. But that loss, as it turned out, proved to be the wake-up call the Surrey Estate side needed, as they bounced back strongly, putting their title chase right on track.
They played like a wounded side in their following match, away to Franschhoek United, winning 30-21 and taking their chase back on track.
And, coach Ebrahim Moerat admitted that the match against Franschhoek was one of their toughest of the season.
“That victory also came at the right time. We had just returned from the the mid-season break and a win, which we were able to get, was all we needed as we continued to chase the title,” he said.
They went on to collect maximum points in their next two matches, beating Raithby 27-26 and Masiphumelele Pumas 41-36.
It was, at this point, clear that it would take something special for any team to stop the mighty Rangers as they marched towards the league title.
Moerat said this will go down as one of their most successful seasons as they were able to clinch a rare double.
He said a number of things, especially the will to win, were key in their excellent run this season.
“This has been a fantastic season for us with the players consistently putting in a lot of hard work.
“They took ownership of their places in the team which developed in the winning culture we formed.
“This is also a consequence of very good pre-season training because, prior to the new season, we sat down and planned ahead. We all agreed that the league was going to be our first priority this season.
“The players were motivated and our start to the season – going seven matches unbeaten – shows just how hungry we were,” he said.
He said the players are aware that they are not “there” yet as there is still a lot to play for going forward.
He also noted that there is always room for improvement.