Coach John Dobson believes that Western Province flyhalf Rob du Preez will make a success of his impending move to the Sharks, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Durban.
There had been plenty of talk in the build-up to Saturday’s final about the importance of the flyhalf battle between Du Preez and Curwin Bosch, but in the end it was the WP pivot who came up trumps.
Du Preez got better and better as the game went on, with his superior composure and game management playing a big role in Province’s second-half comeback.
The 24-year-old is now set to complete a switch as he makes the move from Western Province to the Sharks ahead of next year’s Super Rugby competition, with Dobson praising the influence of the flyhalf general.
‘Rob du Preez is going to be special here [in Durban] … He is leaving Western Province, but he put absolutely everything into this campaign, and his leadership was a really key factor as well.’
Du Preez will now play under the guidance of his father, Rob Snr, while joining his brothers Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez at the Sharks.
‘We are very pleased that he is coming to Durban, and that will just help us with our stocks at flyhalf,’ the Sharks coach commented. ‘Having said that, we’ve got some really exciting flyhalves here, but he will be a big asset for us.
‘He played really well, especially in the second half. He controlled the game like a general, and all in all, they just controlled the game a lot better … Their game management was a lot better than ours, there is no doubt about it.’
During the opening half at Kings Park, it appeared as if the Sharks’ Bosch may emerge as the hero, with the youngster looking composed and in control, while he slotted an impressive long-distance goal kick.
However, two of his passive tackles played a part in both of Province’s second-half tries, and Du Preez acknowledged that defence remains an area of his game that Bosch needs to keep improving.
‘We’ve worked really hard with Curwin on his one-on-one defence. It’s definitely an area of his game that he’s going to have to work hard on, especially playing international rugby.
‘You’ve got to make your one-on-one tackles. If you don’t, then they get momentum on that half-hearted defence. It’s definitely very costly.’
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images