Curwin Bosch of the Sharks who has been endorsed by his captain. Photo: EPA
There has been an endorsement for the Sharks’ Curwin Bosch from none other than his captain and half-back partner, Louis Schreuder, who has been in the perfect position to evaluate the new flyhalf.

Bosch had his first Super Rugby start in that position in the Sharks’ tour opener against the Waratahs, and continued at 10 last week against the Crusaders. The former game was won by the Sharks, and the latter drawn.

When asked about Bosch in an interview from Hamilton this week, where the Sharks play the Chiefs on Saturday, Schreuder had this to say about the 22-year-old Bosch.

“Obviously it is not about what I think,” he started off, perhaps alluding to the controversy regarding Rob du Preez being overplayed in the position before Bosch was eventually given his crack. “But he has gone well. He played very well against the Waratahs, he played very well against the Crusaders, controlling the game, getting us a good territory, taking the points when they were on offer. That was very valuable for us, taking the points when we were not scoring tries...

“I think Curwin has grown, he has really matured into the role. He has really stepped up, and hopefully he can continue,” the scrum-half added.

It will be revealed later today whether Bosch is again backed when the Sharks team is announced.

One player who is definitely out of the game is hooker Akker van der Merwe, who injured his shoulder against the Crusaders and has returned home. That has necessitated the call-up of young Fez Mbhata to replace Van der Merwe on the bench. The youngster joined the team in Hamilton from the SA Under-20 tour of the UK.

Good news on the hooker front is that Kerron van Vuuren has been cleared of the concussion that forced him from the field early in the ­Crusaders game.

Schreuder said that the injuries to both hookers in that game contributed to an at times shaky lineout, especially when Van der Merwe was forced to throw in with his injured shoulder.

“Against the Waratahs our set piece had functioned really well, then against the Crusaders our lineout was not so good. It didn’t help that Akker and Kerron got injured,” he said.

Turning his attention to the Chiefs, Schreuder said homework on the team from Waikato had revealed some impressive statistics.

“I personally feel they are one of the better teams in the competition even if they are sitting fourteenth overall,” he said. “They are No 1 in a lot of components in the stats: first in tries scored, first in offloads, first in ball passes and first in line-breaks ...

“So obviously they pose a massive attacking threat. They attack well and put teams under pressure. They are a quality, experienced side with a lot of X-factor players,” Schreuder said.

@mikegreenaway67


The Mercury

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