Currie Cup

Sharks coach explains Bosch fullback switch, Libbok absence

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Curwin Bosch
Curwin Bosch
Steve Haag/Getty Images
  • Sean Everitt said Curwin Bosch's move to fullback was driven by the Sharks coach's need to see how well his star flyhalf could dovetail with loanee Lionel Cronje.
  • Cronje starts at No 10 for the Sharks against the Bulls at Loftus on Friday - a ground the Sharks have struggled at since Jake White took over.
  • Manie Libbok's star appears to have waned in Durban after last featuring in the first Lions tour match at Ellis Park.

Sean Everitt said Curwin Bosch's move to fullback for Friday's top billing Currie Cup clash against the Bulls was driven by the Sharks coach's need to see how well his star flyhalf could dovetail with loanee Lionel Cronje.

Japan-based veteran Cronje starts at No 10 for the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld (19:00 kick-off), where the Sharks have struggled since Jake White took over from Pote Human last year. 

READ | Emotional toll won't let Springboks fall into the Wallabies' trap of 2013

Bosch's kicking radar let him down in Pretoria during last season's Currie Cup final in January, which likely cost him a Springbok place in the ongoing British & Irish Lions tour.

He has since struggled to regain the spark that took him close to a Springbok recall since his last international appearance in 2018.

"We're just looking at different options. With Aphelele Fassi going to the Boks, we're a bit thin in that position," Everitt said.

"Manie Libbok and Anthony have covered that position pretty well, but we are also looking at combinations.

"We want to play with a two-sided attack, and it's nice to have players at fullback who can slot into 10. As you could see in the latter stages of the last game, Curwin fitted in quite well from fullback, where he dovetailed with Lionel.

"If it works, then it's something we might continue with."

Libbok's star appears to have waned in Durban after last featuring in the first Lions tour match at Ellis Park, where the Sharks were taken apart 54-7.

Since then, Anthony Volmink has played the bulk of the games at fullback with Bosch slotting there occasionally when Cronje is on the park.

Everitt said Libbok, who is also linked with a move to the Stormers, would get an opportunity later in the tournament.

"Manie is not injured. He's training very well, but we are trying to spread the load a little bit regarding game time," Everitt said.

"We've got a group of players that have played a lot of rugby over the last eight months, and he's one of them.

"Whether it's at flyhalf or fullback, he was involved in the Currie Cup earlier this year, then went into the preparation series and the Rainbow Cup before playing the earlier rounds of this Currie Cup.

"We'd like to have a look at some players as well as try to win it, and Manie will get a shot later in the competition."

Teams:

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Murray Koster, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu

Substitutes: 16 Khwezi Mona, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Thembelani Bholi, 19 Mpilo Gumede, 20 James Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Anthony Volmink

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stedman Gans, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes (from): 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Mhleli Dlamini, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Sibongile Novuka, 24 Jacques van Rooyen, 25 Reinhardt Ludwig, 26 WJ Steenkamp, 27 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 28 Richard Kriel

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