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Curwin Bosch is different to other SA flyhalves

Super Rugby

IN RUGBY, the flyhalf is the man in charge. He is like the quarterback in American Football – the superstar, the guy who makes things happen, and who generally gets the credit if his team wins.

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Curwin Bosch runs at the Kings defence during a Super Rugby match in March. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

It is no different in South Africa, where there has been hero-worshipping for some of our No 10s.

The likes of Fagmie Solomons, Peter Mkata, Naas Botha, Joel Stransky, Henry Honiball, Butch James and Morné Steyn have all been carried on the shoulders of their teammates for winning games, sometimes single-handedly.

But we tend to place our pivots in boxes – it’s either a kicking flyhalf or a running flyhalf. For example, people view Botha as a kicking machine, and forget that he set up many tries with his own line-breaks and passes.

In Curwin Bosch, though, we may have finally discovered someone in the modern era who is equally adept with using the ball as he is booting it downfield or through the posts, which makes him a rare breed.

His kicking performance throughout the Super Rugby season so far was headlined by his exceptional display against the Lions at the weekend. Yes, it was at altitude, but to miss just one out of seven – with many of them from difficult angles and prodigious distances – said a lot about the character of the 19-year-old.

Bosch is the man for the big moment, and his 60-metre-plus effort with about 10 minutes to go to put the Sharks into the lead was the kind of stuff we last saw from someone like Frans Steyn.

But it’s not only about the goal-kicking. Bosch gets considerable length on his kicks out of hand as well, and like he did in previous games, he showed just how much power he has in that right foot.

And how about that drop goal from 45 metres, and the late one that hit the crossbar from even further out…

After all of that, you might think that Bosch is your typical South African kicking flyhalf a la Morné Steyn. But that would be very far from the truth.

Bosch is a playmaker extraordinaire, able to create something out of nothing when he has the ball in his hands. That grubber he produced to set up Lukhanyo Am’s match-winning try against the Brumbies in Canberra will stay long in the memory, while he is also not shy to take on the line himself.

There have been murmurs about his less-than-efficient defence, but so what if he is not a Henry Honiball in that regard?

As long as he can go low around the ankles, or hold on to a basher like Rohan Janse van Rensburg – as he did on Saturday – and wait for the support to come in, then it’s enough.

Bosch should be in the Springbok squad for the June Tests against France, but for him to play against the Tricolores – especially with a conservative coach in Allister Coetzee – he needs to continue performing in the manner he has up to now.

Handré Pollard has battled to get going in his return to the field after a year out, and there is still uncertainty surrounding the injured Patrick Lambie.

Elton Jantjies is also slowly building his game back up again after a difficult time on the Test scene last year.

That’s why at the moment, Bosch has to be seen as being at the front of the Bok flyhalf queue…

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Independent Media

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