As far as Sharks coach Sean Everitt is concerned, Curwin Bosch is looking more and more like a Test-quality flyhalf.
Everitt was full of praise for the 23-year-old's performance against the Bulls on Saturday, as the Sharks held on for a morale-boosting 32-29 win over the log leaders.
While Morne Steyn missed a penalty deep in injury time which would have given the visitors a draw, Bosch was able to deliver a match-winning performance, nailing some important kicks in the first half before helping to set up the winning try with a pinpoint cross-field kick and slotting the resulting conversion.
"I am so proud of Curwin," Everitt said after the match. "He is kicking so well at the moment. He is the guy who kept us in the game with those two long-range penalties early in the first half. That put our noses in front and the Bulls played a little bit of catch-up. Curwin's all-round game has improved. Last week, he nearly got a steal in the breakdown. His defence was good. His backfield work has improved immensely.
"He is certainly running the game like a mature flyhalf should do. He is looking more and more like an international flyhalf and hopefully, he can continue that performance. This young chap is just growing with confidence and I can't wait for him to reach his full potential."
As far as the team is concerned, Everitt was also delighted with the overall performance.
"I think the guys put in a great performance and a massive improvement on what we have delivered this year," he said. "We said we needed to improve our performance over the 80 minute period and obviously, we took ascendancy in the game in the last five. Unfortunately for Morne and the Bulls, he missed that last kick to see them draw the game. But I think at the end of the day, if you look at the first half as a whole, I think we deserved to win this one."
The Sharks now trail the Bulls by just five points but face some tough fixtures in the coming weeks, including away games against the Lions and Cheetahs.
"The challenge is now on the road," he added. "At the beginning of the year, winning three out of four on tour, will certainly help with the guys' confidence in going to Ellis Park. The Lions are a tough team at home. They are playing the best rugby they have in the entire year. That's going to be a massive challenge, but our guys will grow with confidence from this performance tonight and hopefully next week we can put in a better performance.
"One of our DNA blocks is that we stay humble. We are performance-driven, that's what I have pushed all year. We have got to be critical of our performances and we need to improve where we need to. We have to keep that in mind going forward. The guys can’t look too far ahead.
"We were good tonight. We mustn't underestimate the fact that Morne missed a kick to level the scores at the end. That's not normally what happens when he kicks at poles. We will take the win. We are happy about it. I am happy about the improved performance with the team. We will enjoy it this evening, come back to work on Monday so that we can prepare well for a massive challenge in Joburg on Saturday."
- TEAMtalk media