It was a Currie Cup final to forget for Curwin Bosch as Western Province came from behind to beat the Sharks at Kings Park last year.
Bosch had a mixed season in 2017 but, while some will point fingers at his less than confident Test debut, he’s a talented player who has much to offer the Springboks for years to come.
His performances during the Currie Cup were positive until the final where WP’s Robert du Preez Jr won the flyhalf battle on the day. Bosch will have learnt from that experience, taking in the criticism and praise, picking what benefits his career, and focusing on the 2018 Super Rugby season.
The arrival of Du Preez Jr at the Sharks has sparked debate about how the backline will accommodate both players, and whether Bosch will settle at flyhalf or fullback.
It’s worth noting that Bosch has more points and experience at Super Rugby level (16 caps & 156 points) than his new teammate (14 caps & 107 points), albeit by the slimmest of margins.
But what Bosch needs is minutes on the park. Based on Du Preez’s injury history, Bosch can expect ample time at flyhalf where I think he’ll feature for South Africa in the future.
But he’s shown glimpses of his quality and his high-ball skills and counter attacking abilities may at this moment be better utilised at fullback.
Bosch is far from the finished product but he has shown enough to suggest he can be a world beater. A playmaker that is dangerous attacking from the back, Bosch’s willingness to make – and bounce back from – mistakes highlights his character. Despite a failed drop goal that proved costly in the 2017 Junior World Cup semi-final loss against England, Bosch didn’t hesitate to attempt a few more during the Currie Cup.
Depth is key when you want to win titles and the competition will bring the best out of both players. But it’s not a major issue whether starts both players or picks one over the other.
Bosch has a monstrous boot, playmaking abililty, and is an accurate passer and goal-kicker, all of which makes him a viable option at pivot and fullback, though the latter position is one that will give him time to develop a major work-on: defence.
It was clear in some performances last year that this is an area of his game that’s still a work in progress, but his ailments are curable. Bosch is only 20 years old. He will continue to learn by playing and moving between 10 and 15 will benefit him in the long run.
This season will challenge Bosch to evolve, and he will be going out to prove that he belongs.
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