Sharks won’t repeat Currie Cup final mistakes
THE wounds cut deep in the Sharks players after their agonising Currie Cup final defeat to the Bulls in January, and lessons were learnt, says flyhalf Curwin Bosch ahead of his team’s return to Loftus on Saturday for a Rainbow Cup SA match.
Bosch, who personally had a forgettable day when his kicking radar proved faulty, said the Sharks had taken the unusual step of going back and studying events of that afternoon.
“In the past we wouldn’t have analysed a final, but we did an in-depth review of this one and learnt a lot, and we will apply the lessons this weekend in what is definitely going to be a very good contest between two unbeaten sides,” Bosch said.
“We have seen how we could have won that final — it took the Bulls 100 minutes to score a try, and we had the opportunities to close it out.”
While the Sharks still have on duty 80% of the personnel that played that game, it is their game plan that has changed significantly.
The Sharks based much of their game in the Currie Cup on the kickchase strategy but in the Preparation Series and now the Rainbow Cup, they are reverting to the attacking style that set alight Super Rugby in February and March last year.
“We have grown a lot in the way we want to play,” Bosch agreed. “We have a lot of freedom in our game plan to make decisions on when to attack, and the game drivers like myself as flyhalf can take opportunities when they present themselves.”
Bosch said that it is important for the Sharks to continue to improve each week of the Rainbow Cup because after the tour of the British and Irish Lions, there is hope that they will eventually get to play in Europe.
“As a team, this game is important, as are the rest in this competition because it is a long year” he said. “We are a performance-driven side and we are looking forward to the PRO 16 (in Europe) and possibly the Heineken Cup.”
Like all South African players, Bosch would love to be involved against the touring Lions but he says he is not putting pressure on himself.
“In the alignment camps the coaches made it very clear what they expect of me if I hope to be selected,” Bosch said. “But I don’t feel I am under pressure because it simply comes down to me playing the best game I possibly can for my team, which is what I try to do every week, and if I just concentrate on doing that, the rest will take care of itself.
“In the first Rainbow game (against the Stormers), I was bit rusty after having not played for a while but I felt there was a big improvement last week against the Lions,” he added. “The big thing for me is to get the balance right between running and kicking. I am working hard on that so we can get closer to the perfect performance.”