Currie Cup

Sharks' double pivot' tactic gives them two aces up their sleeve for Bulls battle

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Curwin Bosch (middle) with Sharks teammates. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Curwin Bosch (middle) with Sharks teammates. (Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Sharks flyhalf Lionel Cronje and fullback Curwin Bosch showed the value of having two decision-makers dovetailing in their Currie Cup semi-final victory over Griquas at Kings Park on Saturday.

The "double pivot" deployment clicked into gear just in time to give Sharks head coach Sean Everitt confidence that the Durbanites can travel to Loftus with more than one ace up their sleeve.

The Sharks have their work cut out trying to combat Johan Goosen, the Springbok flyhalf who has made a dominant return to South African rugby.

SCOREBOARD | Sharks 28-24 Griquas

Everitt's men, on the other hand, have been trying to accommodate two flyhalves into one backline since Cronje joined on loan from Japanese club Toyota Verblitz for the competition.

"What I enjoy about having two 10s is that you can play on both sides of the field, and I think we do that really well," Everitt said.

"When Lionel is in the breakdown, Curwin takes over at 10. We've got continuity in our shape, and it's working quite well for us.

"It gives us a chance to kick from both sides of the field as well as from scrumhalf. You can't change your attack in a week, but you can employ tactics on the day, and we'll have a plan up our sleeve."

Bosch played with a verve last seen before the pandemic struck in March 2020, a time when he and his teammates were the toast of the town before their momentum was badly curtailed.

The 24-year-old eagerly slotted in at first and second receiver in the Sharks 28-24 victory on Saturday, taking much pressure off his more maverick contemporary Cronje.

Bosch also took the goal-kicking duties, something he could assume again in the pressurised Loftus environment at next weekend's final.

He might have been through on goal, too, had wing Thaakir Abrahams released him during a spurned attacking move in the second half - one of many that the Sharks threw away despite scoring three tries to Griquas' two.

Everitt said he wasn't worried about the chances left untaken, which could have given his team scoreboard breathing room.

"I wouldn't say I'm worried about it, but I know we can do better.

"People make mistakes under pressure from a skill perspective. Our maul, though, was really effective.

"One or two balls went to ground in the Griquas goal zone. We probably could have put them to bed a little bit earlier.

"Around the 60th minute, we spent time in their 22, and if we had come away with points there, it might not have been that close by the end.

"In saying that, I don't think the yellow card helped us. But I'm not worried about anything.

"I back our boys. We've done it here at Kings Park against a full-strength Bulls team, and there's no reason we can't do it up there.

"We went 100 minutes with them at the end of January, and I think we can do the same again this time. If we do it in 80, it would even be better."

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