- The value of Curwin Bosch is fully recognised by Lukhanyo Am and Ruben van Heerden, who benefit from his work in different ways
- Bosch isn’t new to the white-hot nature of play-off rugby, having played in two Currie Cup finals
- His boot has often kept the Sharks afloat this season and played a role in getting them into the play-offs
It’s a forward who can accurately tell you the value of an excellent playmaker who controls the game, which is what Sharks lock Ruben van Heerden feels they have in Curwin Bosch.
The jury has always been out on Bosch’s defensive courage, but when his attacking and kicking game is on song, that tends to be forgotten quickly.
If defensively deficient pivots like Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara, England’s George Ford and Australia’s Quade Cooper have been able to forge careers without having to get their shoulders dirty, the same should be applied to Bosch.
Van Heerden was quick to recognise Bosch’s importance, especially in a play-off game where narrow margins decide the course of fixtures.
Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final against Western Province at Newlands won’t be any different, especially with the fact that John Dobson’s side haven’t quite found the right playmaker.
Damian Willemse, for all his talent, hasn't quite clicked and had to move to 15 to cover for the unfortunate Warrick Gelant.
This meant Tim Swiel has had to deputise at No 10 and while his kicking game has been adequate, his game management has left a lot to be desired.
Van Heerden, though, was quick to state that Western Province’s flyhalf worries aren’t his concerns.
“Curwin is incredibly influential for our team. He is our playmaker and he is crucial with regards to the way we want to play. As a forward, it’s great having a guy like Curwin because he puts you on the front foot and puts the ball in the right areas of the field. A guy like Curwin makes your job that much easier,” Van Heerden said.
“With regards to Western Province’s issue with their flyhalves, I’m not concerned about that and I’m not too clued up as to what’s happening there. That’s their problem, but on our side, we’ve got a good 10 who can definitely do the job on Saturday.”
Sharks captain and centre Lukhanyo Am, like a forward, will know what Bosch brings to the table. As a beneficiary of Bosch’s pin-point passing, Am knows exactly what they have in Bosch.
For Am, it’s not even about the excitement Bosch brings to the table, but his goalkicking that’s kept the Sharks in the tournament.
Bosch, who has taken part in two Currie Cup finals with one win and one loss, could come into his own if the Sharks pack gain some sort of parity.
“Having a key player like Curwin Bosch who has a golden boot helps to put us in the right areas of the game. His all-round kicking ability gives us confidence. A big game like a semi-final won’t be as flashy as a pool game. We’ll definitely try to put ourselves in the right areas and we’ll always try to take the points opportunities while backing a guy like Curwin to slot those kicks,” Am said.
“We know what Western Province’s strengths are with regards to their set-piece dominance. They have proven it straight through the competition. We’ve been working on ourselves and looking to strengthen the facets where we have been lacking. If we can get our own set-pieces going and challenge them on their own, it’s going to be an exciting game.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:30.