• Bosch: I’m in a race against myself

    Curwin Bosch says he is very pleased by the progress made with his overall kicking game this past domestic season, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

    Following the completion of the Currie Cup, Bosch earned two nominations in the BrightRock 2021 Players Choice Awards: Players’ Player of the Year and Backline Player of the Year.

    Bosch played an integral role throughout the Sharks’ domestic campaign – having received unequivocal backing as the first-choice flyhalf – with his long-range boot proving to be a standout feature.

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    As the local team with the most prolific kicking game, the Sharks relied heavily on the decision-making and kicking accuracy (both out of hand and at goal) from Bosch, who put plenty of contestable kicks into play.

    Although Bosch faltered from the kicking tee in the Currie Cup final, he has undergone intensive introspection since then, while he told SARugbymag.co.za that it would not detract from the improvements he felt had taken place over the course of the season.

    ‘Our game revolves a lot around kicking, and my focus for this past season was to improve my accuracy. One has to be accurate if you’re playing with some of the best wings in the world, and to give them the opportunity to play at their highest potential, I have to be able to provide them with accurate ball from kicks.

    ‘So, I worked really hard on finding the balance between kicks that are a bit flatter and more accurate, and knowing when to keep the ball in hand. Also, I’ve always had distance on my kicks at goal, but I experienced a natural progression in that area as well; just that additional five or so metres on my kicks.

    ‘I improved my timing off the kicking tee, and my process has become a lot smoother. In all, I felt this was a season in which my overall kicking game progressed closer toward the levels and standards I set for myself.’

    And as more South African teams get set to enter northern-hemisphere competition, boasting a strong kicking game in those conditions will only increase in importance.

    Bosch says it was an exciting prospect to be heading into a different environment with new challenges.

    ‘We want to experience the type of rugby those teams play. It’s a wonderful challenge. Personally, I just want to continue on the path of growth I’ve been on during the past year.

    ‘I’m aiming to improve game by game, even if it’s just one thing at a time. I want to get to a place where my opponents won’t know whether I’m going to kick, run or distribute the ball. I’m in a race against myself, and I’m aiming to perfect that unpredictable element of my own game.’

    And despite the Sharks’ defeat in the Currie Cup final, there is an enduring air of positivity in Durban, with the signing of Siya Kolisi and the procurement of major private investment signaling clear intent for the future.

    Touching on the culture at the Sharks, Bosch said it could only be described as a ‘family’.

    ‘With Sean [Everitt] taking over as head coach and having Ed [Coetzee] as CEO, we tried to put our words into action. It’s a process, but we’ve come a long way in achieving what we want for ourselves from a culture point of view.

    ‘We will continue to build and raise our standards in this regard. The thing about the Sharks is that everyone feels like they should be there. We have freedom and the right to express our opinions and to express ourselves. That goes a long way in creating an environment where players can actually reach their potential.’

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    Craig Lewis