Bosch ready for No 10 now
Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez reckons that Curwin Bosch is now ready to settle in the position that he specialised in at school – at least until Patrick Lambie returns from injury.
Bosch, who was still at school two years ago, followed up his recent match winning performance against the Waratahs with another star showing in the Sharks’ excellent 38-30 win over the Toyota Cheetahs in a Vodacom Super Rugby derby in Bloemfontein at the weekend. However, in between the Waratahs game and the one against the Cheetahs, Bosch returned to fullback for the clash with the Southern Kings at Kings Park.
That is where the 19-year-old has played most of his rugby since leaving school, with his stints in the last line of defence being spread across his games for the Junior Springboks and also for the Sharks in the Currie Cup. There are reasons why Bosch has played there since moving to Durban from Port Elizabeth, and while his coach listed the greater space available at fullback, it is also no secret that he has defensive issues which are a work in progress.
Du Preez selected last year’s national under-20 flyhalf Bernhard Janse van Rensburg at No 10 for the Kings game, but it didn’t quite work out, and after Bosch’s second successive good game at pivot, the coach says he is ready to play him there more regularly until skipper Lambie returns from his injury.
“Playing fullback for Curwin was about giving him more space but I think he is now ready to play 10. Pat Lambie is in a class of his own, and when he is back then we can put Curwin at fullback again,” said Du Preez.
“He is a player who is gaining massive confidence with each performance. I think that is the key to the improvements he is making. At flyhalf you are under a lot of pressure. You have to make the calls and that is a big responsibility. At fullback there isn’t quite the same degree of responsibility, and Curwin is very young so we didn’t want to place too much pressure on him.”
Du Preez warned that while Bosch was doing well, the coaches still had to be careful about how they managed him going forward.
“There is no doubt that he has massive BMT. He is definitely a big star of the future. There is no doubt about that. But he is young and we must look after him.”
Du Preez said he was pleased with the brand of rugby his team played in downing a difficult opposing team at a venue that has not always been kind to the Sharks.
“It was good to see our wings score three of our four tries,” he said.
“Kobus van Wyk came from the right to the left to score both of his tries, and that is an indication that he is looking for work, which is good. Unfortunately we didn’t get a bonus point but it is tough enough to just come here to win and as I said last week, the Cheetahs are a good team with a great coach in Franco Smith. We applied a lot of pressure but there were stages when the game could have gone either way.
“We will be happy to take the win any day. We scored four tries and that is an indication we are on the right track. Last week we scored just two, which was disappointing. I think what the last while has shown is that every opponent in Super Rugby has to be taken seriously. The Sunwolves were very good in the first 60 minutes against the Stormers, and the Kings played well to push us last week.”
Of course, the win wasn’t just based around Bosch, and the pack was outstanding in laying the foundation. No-one was better in the Sharks team, or contributed more to the victory, than former Cheetahs Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who in addition to doing well in the primary phases was all over the field as a ball carrier and in support of the ball carrier.
“The work that Coenie has done on his conditioning has played a big role in his good form,” said Du Preez.
“He is a great team man and he appears to really enjoy playing for the Sharks. I think he will be challenging for a place in the Bok team again this year.”
Skipper Tera Mtembu praised his teammates for the greater physicality that was brought to the effort in this game after the poor performance against the Kings, and was particularly pleased with the performance of Cobus Reinach. Apart from his energetic play around the fringes and in helping Bosch deliver his man of the match showing, Reinach played a big role motivating the pack and keeping the big men on the front foot.