Cape Town - It may be a word fast associated with Loftus Versfeld over the past year, but Rosko Specman believes there is a lot more “Specmagic” to come.
And if things go right, Specman hopes he can finally achieve his dream of becoming a Springbok this season.
According to the supersport.com website, the change of heart over the past year or so is much thanks to another former Sevens Bok - Cheslin Kolbe - whose heroics in helping win the World Cup for South Africa showed that bigger and stronger isn’t always the way to go.
Specman knows that all too well. He isn’t the biggest winger, but he is electric. Anyone watching his game will underline the moment he gets the ball - things start to happen. And for a defence he can be a nightmare, a combination of pace and skill and an eye to bring in the sidestep. A dynamo that is hard to stop.
Specman already made a massive impact last year in his first season at the Bulls, but now he is back from a few months with the Sevens team and knows exactly what his goal is for the year.
“My goal is to first stay in the team for the entire Super Rugby season, and then if things go my way, and God blesses me, then I can be a Springbok this year,” he said.
The elusive dream isn’t that far away for him. Although the Sharks duo of Makazole Mapimpi and S’bu Nkosi are in the inside lane, Kolbe’s time at Toulouse may well see him miss the July Tests against Georgia and Scotland, depending on what the new Bok coach’s plans for the season are.
And if Specman can overcome the doubters, and score a few more blistering tries - like the two he dotted down in the opening pre-season fixture against Tuks for the Bulls this past weekend, he may be a step closer to achieving that dream.
He does admit he did struggle in the opening game with the pace, having returned from Sevens where things just seem to happen a lot faster.
“It was a little bit stop and slow, this game was a lot slower than where I came from now at the Sevens. But it is nice to be back, nice to be on the field and shake off those old habits, those sevens habits and be patient before I get the ball and do my thing,” he laughs.
But Sevens will always be a part of his life, and he also hopes to go to the Olympics later in the year. For now though he has a goal, and that means individual brilliance may not be enough to get there. Specman knows the way he slots into the team is what counts in the long run.
“Going back to the Sevens was amazing. The energy and vibe was always special there and to see the guys working for each other is always good. As you can see here as well, when the boys stick to the structure and work for each other, there was a glimpse of something special.
“If they can just play for each other and not individuals then it will go well. If everyone wants to come out and show a point but the more we play as a unit the better we can be.”
The new year will undoubtedly bring new challenges. But it will also bring new opportunities to showcase the Specmagic that Loftus fans have come to know. And if things go right, that magic can be a perfect elixir for the Boks later on.
Specman knows what he has to do, and is determined to give it a full go.