Rustenburg Impala were crowned the best club team in South Africa after beating False Bay 48-24 in the Gold Cup final on Saturday.
It was Impala’s third consecutive appearance in the final and their second title success in three years. For False Bay, who enjoyed a dream season in 2016, this was a bridge too far.
In sweltering heat in Rustenburg, both sides started off cautiously, but False Bay had the opportunity to put points on the board via three penalty attempts, which were all off target.
The visitors would eventually cross for the first try after winger Mustaqeem Jappie gathered his own chip kick to score. Impala wrestled back the ascendancy with three tries of their own to lead 17-10 at the break.
A three-try flurry in the opening five minutes after the interval – including a double by flyhalf Cecil Dumond – put Impala well and truly in command of the game. There were still two scores for both teams later in the game, but Impala was too far ahead for False Bay to make inroads.
Gold Cup awards:
Team manager of the year – Peter Virgin (Durbell)
Coach of the year – Alrico Beukes (RSK Evergreens)
Backline player of the year – Tythan Adams (College Rovers)
Forward of the year – Ian Oosthuizen (Brakpan)
Player of the year – Leon du Plessis (Rustenburg Impala)