Bosch leads Sharks to victory
Ross Roche
August 27, 2016

A superb man-of-the-match performance from Cell C Sharks XV fullback Curwin Bosch led them to a thrilling 26-19 win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old former Grey High School pupil contributed 21 points along with a full house after he scored one of the two tries, converted them both, kicked three penalties and slotted a cheeky drop goal in a brilliant performance beyond his years.

The result kept the Sharks' unbeaten run going and secured their place at the top of the standings on 19 points after four games, with the Cheetahs, who had a bye this weekend, the only other unbeaten side and their closest challengers five points back.

In a match of close margins the Sharks were indebted to an improved defensive performance after missing five tackles in the first three minutes and conceding an early try. They then shored up and the Bulls could only score through the boot of flyhalf Tian Schoeman the rest of the match.

With nine minutes on the clock a poor Sharks clearance gave the Bulls a line out in their 22m, they duly secured the ball and scrum half Piet van Zyl took the ball from the back of the maul and passed to left wing Jamba Ulengo joining the line at pace, with a good dummy run from centre Burger Odendaal allowing Ulengo to cut through the defence and go over under the polls for a converted try.

The Sharks then got on the board in the 20th minute as Bosch kicked his first penalty, however Schoeman replied for the Bulls five minutes later, before Bosch added his second in the 29th minute from a similar position to the first, making the score 10-6.

The turning point of the match then came in the 33rd minute as Bulls flank Ruan Steenkamp received a yellow card for a tip-tackle on the halfway line.

Bosch missed the shot at goal but with the extra man advantage the Sharks hammered away in the Bulls 22m, and were rewarded two minutes before half-time as Ruan Botha picked the ball up at a ruck five metres out, and with lock partner Etienne Oosthuizen in support he drove the ball over the line to score.

Despite TMO Marius Jonker wanting to have a look if the ball was grounded as their seemed to be a hand under the ball, referee Marius van der Westhuizen confirmed that he had seen a clear grounding and the try stood.

Bosch added the extras from out wide, and the Sharks then still had time to get back onto the Bulls 22m and pop the ball back to Bosch to skim over a drop goal on the half-time hooter, as they went into the break 16-10 up.

The Bulls needed to score first in the second half and did in the 49th minute as they reduced the deficit through Schoeman's boot from a scrum penalty just outside the Sharks 22m.

Six minutes later, however, the Sharks effectively sealed the win with a superb try from broken play as they turned the ball over near the halfway line. Lwazi Mvovo picked up the loose ball and broke onto the Bulls 22m, where he offloaded, with the ball then going through the hands to Bosch on the right-hand touchline. The youngster rounded the last defender and dived over in the corner.

Bosch converted the try to put them 10 points ahead, and although the Bulls chipped away at the deficit through two more Schoeman penalties, another Bosch penalty in the 77th minute made it a seven-point game, and despite late pressure from the Bulls the match ended in favour of the Sharks.


Sharks:Tries: Ruan Botha, Curwin Bosch Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2) Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3) Drop Goal: Curwin Bosch

Blue Bulls: Try: Jamba Ulengo Conversion: Tian Schoeman Penalties: Tian Schoeman (4)

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