DURBAN – Sharks fullback Curwin Bosch is expecting more of a game of chess today against the Rebels (10.45am kick-off) than a free-flowing, barbarians style of rugby.
The Rebels have moved on from the devil-may care rugby of their formative years and under new coach David Wessels have become a highly structured team that is conservative in approach and attacks only when opportunities present themselves.
“We have analysed them and I think our back three can expect some high balls,” the Sharks fullback said. “They do not play much rugby in their own half and use the ball to create pressure on the opposition in their danger zone.
“If you want to run it back at them, they back their defence. They will plan to get behind us and create pressure, but it won’t be a problem for us because we are expecting it.
“Our back three - Bosch, Lwazi Mvovo and Sbu Nkosi - backs itself. Our kicking game is strong and if we spot the chance to counter-attack, we can certainly do that. wThe thing is, we want to play a game that gets behind them, so that we can get more attacking opportunities, and they want to do the same, so it is going to be a very interesting game,” Bosch said.
Bosch seems to be established now as the Sharks fullback, with Robert du Preez at flyhalf, and that makes him the last line of defence, an area that has not been his strong point.
“Fullback is a position I have played many times, either at school, age group rugby or at first class level,” he said.
“I was on the bench at the start of the season (Lwazi Mvovo was the fullback) but I am now getting more game time at fullback.
“You need game time as a youngster, especially in key positions such as flyhalf and fullback, because you learn something new every game,” the 20-year-old said.
“It is no secret that people have been worrying about my defence and we have been working on it and it is nice to see that it is coming together this season,” Bosch said. “I feel that my tackling has definitely improved.
“It is not yet where I want it to be but I am happy in to be in a position like fullback where I have to make more tackles. You can only improve on a weakness by testing yourself in match situations.”
Bosch says the Brumbies defeat last week had been a learning experience for the team. “It was not a good performance but we still felt we could have put that game away.
“The margins are so small at this level and mistakes can be very costly so we are obviously planning to tighten things up against the Rebels.”