Currie Cup

Sharks boss backs 'amazing' Curwin Bosch after Currie Cup final struggles

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Curwin Bosch (Gallo)
Curwin Bosch (Gallo)

This season's Currie Cup, probably the most unique of its kind, was a breakthrough tournament for Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch

Still just 23-years-old, Bosch played the first of his two Springbok Tests all the way back in 2017.

Since then, he has been used at both fullback and at flyhalf by the Sharks and has looked particularly comfortable in the No 15 jersey for the Durbanites.

When the Sharks were knocked out of Super Rugby 2019 at the quarter-final stage at the hands of the Brumbies, Bosch started the match at fullback. For almost all of that season, the Sharks No 10 jersey belonged to Robert du Preez. 

At the start of Super Rugby 2020 and under the new leadership of coach Sean Everitt, however, Bosch made the full-time move to pivot. 

There were concerns over his perceived defensive frailties in that channel - there always have been - but he hit the ground running with Everitt's unequivocal backing and he hasn't looked back. 

Bosch has improved his tackling, his distribution and game management has been sound and he kicks the ball a mile, both out of hand and off the tee. 

When Super Rugby 2020 was scrapped in March last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sharks were top of the log after the first seven rounds of fixtures with Bosch instrumental to that success. 

In recent months, he has been at the heart of the Sharks' run to the Currie Cup final and on Saturday he finished as the competition's highest points scorer. 

On the day, though, Bosch was not at his best and he missed five penalties in total - four in regulation time and one in extra-time - as the Bulls secured a stunning 26-19 win after 100 minutes to be crowned 2020/21 Currie Cup champions. 

At the final whistle, Bosch dropped to his haunches.

Given the excellence he had achieved all season, and especially in the Sharks' 19-9 win over Western Province in the semi-final, this was a performance he wouldn't have been thrilled with. 

Naturally, Bosch was made a key figure in the build-up to the final and was considered one of the reasons the underdog Sharks might fancy their chances at Loftus. 

It meant that all eyes were on the Sharks playmaker. Speaking after the final, Everitt protected his general.

"I'm not disappointed that he didn't kick everything over. He's done it time and time again for us this year," the coach said.

"It's like golfers … you have a bad day and maybe today wasn't up to the standard that we're used. He's been amazing for us. He's pulled us out the trenches and, unfortunately, today it didn't go his way."

Everitt also pointed to the fact the the Bulls had missed key kicks at goal.

"Morne (Steyn) missed kicks and Chris Smith missed one to win the game on 80 minutes, so we can look at all the kickers in that respect," he said.

"Curwin is a great rugby player.

"If you miss at goal, it doesn't make you a bad rugby player.

"Curwin has been outstanding for us and I thought generally today his game management was really good. We back him 100%."

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